Ever since the ghazal was introduced into English poetry, there has been confusion as to what constitutes a ghazal and which poems have a right to be identified as ghazals in English. By tracing the history and development of the ghazal over the more than a millennia and a half that it has been in existence, this article seeks to put recent efforts into perspective. It is hoped that a better understanding of the diverse and changing nature of ghazal writing in the past will help us to envision how the rich variety of contemporary works being written in English today fit into the broader context of ghazal writing.
This article traces the evolution of the ghazal. Starting with the ghazal’s origins in the pre-Islamic Arabian qasîdah, it follows the ghazal’s development in Medieval Arabia and Persia, and its adoption into the literatures of other languages and cultures.
Locke attacks both the view that we have any innate principles (for example, the whole is greater than the part, do unto others as you would have done unto you, etc.) as well as the view that there are any innate singular ideas (for example, God, identity, substance, and so forth). The main thrust of Locke’s argument lies in pointing out that none of the mental content alleged to be innate is universally shared by all humans. He notes that children and the mentally disabled, for example, do not have in their minds an allegedly innate complex thought like “equals taken from equals leave equals”. He also uses evidence from travel literature to point out that many non-Europeans deny what were taken to be innate moral maxims and that some groups even lack the idea of a God. Locke takes the fact that not all humans have these ideas as evidence that they were not implanted by God in humans minds, and that they are therefore acquired rather than innate.