Ibn Tufayl’s “Ḥayy Ibn Yaqẓān”: Philosophical Fiction from the 12th Century

Great read!

On Art and Aesthetics

The Brother’s Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky (1979-1880)

I’m a great fan of the “philosophical novel” – that stream of narrative, which, though deeply rooted in a specific place and period, can transcend its immediate context and raise timeless questions on the meaning and value and purpose of human life, society, nature, the entire universe. That story which – for me – dissects and debates one or more of these dichotomies: belief/skepticism, faith/reason, conformity/individualism, good/evil, freedom/determinism, origins/ends, virtue/vice, love/hate, sacrifice/egotism, pain/pleasure, melancholy/joy, order/chaos, justice/unfairness, violence/peace, beauty/ugliness, finally, life/death.

Nausea by Jean-Paul Sartre (1938)

Over the years, I have delved into philosophical novels of both theistic and atheistic bents. When I’m reading, I may not endorse every view proposed or attitude displayed by the characters that I encounter but I always enjoy the mental processes, the rigor with which arguments are thought out, articulated, and very often, translated into physical action. Here, true…

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