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The Improvement of Human Reason Ibn Tufail

The Improvement of Human Reason Ibn Tufail

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Published by: alpha test on May 03, 2009
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The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Improvement of Human Reason, by IbnTufailThis eBook is for the use of anyone anywhere at no cost and withalmost no restrictions whatsoever. You may copy it, give it away orre-use it under the terms of the Project Gutenberg License includedwith this eBook or online at www.gutenberg.netTitle: The Improvement of Human ReasonExhibited in the Life of Hai Ebn YokdhanAuthor: Ibn TufailRelease Date: October 8, 2005 [EBook #16831]Language: EnglishCharacter set encoding: ISO-8859-1*** START OF THIS PROJECT GUTENBERG EBOOK THE IMPROVEMENT OF HUMANREASON ***Produced by Marc D'HoogheTHE IMPROVEMENT OF HUMAN REASONExhibited in the Lifeof Hai Ebn YokdhanbyIbn Tufail (Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Tufail al-Qasi)Newly Translated from the Original Arabick by Simon Ockley(1708)* * * * *The Improvement ofHUMAN REASON,
Exhibited in the LIFE of_Hai Ebn Yokdhan_:Written in _Arabick_ above 500 Years_ago, by _Abu Jaafar Ebn Tophail_.In which is demonstrated,By what Methods one may, by the meerLIGHT OF NATURE, attain the Knowledgof things NATURAL and SUPERNATURAL;more particularly the Knowledg of God,and the Affairs of another Life.Illustrated with proper FIGURES,Newly Translated from the Original _Arabick_by _SIMON OCKLEY_, A.M. Vicar of_Swanesey_ in _Cambridgshire_.With an APPENDIX,In Which the Possibility of Man's attainingthe True Knowledg of GOD, andThings necessary to Salvation, withoutINSTRUCTION, is briefly consider'd.* * * * *To the Reverend_Mr_. Edward Pococke,Rector of_MINAL_, in _Wiltshire_.Reverend SIR,Hai Ebn Yokdhan _returns to you again, in a Dress different from thatwhich you sent him out in. Wherever he comes, he acknowledges you forhis first and best Master; and confesses, that his being put in aCapacity to travel thro'_ Europe, _is owing to your Hand. I could not inEquity send him to any other Person, you being the sole Proprietor. Andas your Learning enables you to do him Justice, so your Candor willincline you to pardon what is by me done amiss. Both whichQualifications you enjoy, as a Paternal Inheritance, descending from theReverend and Learned _Dr. Pococke,_ the Glory and Ornament of our Ageand Nation. Whose Memory I much reverence, and how much I acknowledge myself indebted to him for his Learned Works, I thought I could no wayexpress better, than by taking some Opportunity to pay my Respects toyou, Sir, the worthy Son of so great a Father. And no fitter Bearerthan_ Hai Ebn Yokdhan, _with whose Character and Language you are so
well acquainted, and to whom you have long ago shown so great a Respect,that I have no reason to fear but he will be welcome_._I am_,_SIR,__Your most humble Servant_,Simon Ockley,* * * * *THE PREFACE.When Mr. _Pococke_ first publish'd this _Arabick_ Author with hisaccurate _Latin_ Version, _Anno_ 1671. Dr. _Pococke_ his Father, thatlate eminent Professor of the Oriental Languages in the University of_Oxford_, prefix'd a Preface to it; in which he tells us, that he hasgood Reason to think, that this Author was contemporary with _Averroes_,who died very ancient in the Year of the _Hegira_ 595, which isco-incident with the 1198th Year of our Lord; according to whichAccount,the Author liv'd something above five hundred Years ago.He liv'd in _Spain_, as appears from one or two Passages in this Book.He wrote some other Pieces, which are not come to our Hands. This hasbeen very well receiv'd in the East; one Argument of which is, that ithas been translated by _R. Moses_ _Narbonensis_ into _Hebrew_, andillustrated with a large Commentary. The Design of the Author is toshew, how Human Capacity, unassisted by any External Help, may, by dueApplication, attain to the Knowledge of Natural Things, and so byDegrees find out its Dependance upon a Superior Being, the Immortalityof the Soul, and all things necessary to Salvation.How well he has succeeded in this Attempt, I leave to the Reader tojudge. 'Tis certain, that he was a Man of Parts and very good Learning,considering the Age he liv'd in, and the way of studying in those Times.There are a great many lively Stroaks in it; and I doubt not but ajudicious Reader will find his Account in the Perusal of it.I was not willing ('though importun'd) to undertake the translating itinto _English_, because I was inform'd that it had been done twicealready; once by Dr. _Ashwell_, another time by the _Quakers_, whoimagin'd that there was something in, it that favoured theirEnthusiastick Notions. However, taking it for granted, that both theseTranslations we're not made out of the Original _Arabick_, but out ofthe _Latin_; I did not question but they had mistaken the Sense of theAuthor in many places. Besides, observing that a great many of myfriends whom I had a desire to oblige, and other Persons whom I wouldwillingly incline to a more favourable Opinion of _Arabick_ Learning,had not seen this Book; and withal, hoping that I might add something byway of Annotation or _Appendix_, which would not be altogether useless;I at last ventur'd to translate it a-new.

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