If we accept the premise that personal sufferings and misfortunes provide excellent grist for philosophy’s mill, then we must concede that Solomon Ibn Gabirol was provided with incomparable ingredients for speculative thought. He was born to a prosperous family in Malaga, Spain around 1022. Yet life wasted no time in dealing him cruel cards; his parents died when he was a child, making him an itinerant orphan. He seems to have been stricken by a degenerative disease as a teenager, and this fact lodged in his breast an enduring sense of alienation and resentment; but like many other thinkers, he would find refuge from his pain by taking up the pen.Continue reading
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