The transcendental movement history and concepts

Many distinctly Romantic tropes echo through the pages of Transcendental literature. They were leaders in such contemporary reform movements as anarchisticsocialisticand communistic schemes for living Thoreau, Alcott at Fruitlands, Ripley at Brook Farm ; woman suffrage ; better conditions for workers; temperance for all; modifications of dress and diet; the rise of free religion; educational innovation; and other humanitarian causes.

The Dial, Fuller, Thoreau The transcendentalists had several publishing outlets: Written by Josh Rahn. The founders of transcendentalism were Unitarian intellectuals who came of age, or became Unitarians, in the s and s.

In Nature, for example, Emerson writes: The Transcendental Movement was nothing if not idealist.

26f. Transcendentalism, An American Philosophy

They looked to certain Unitarians as mentors, especially the great Boston preacher William Ellery Channing. The Unitarians were not strict Lockeans; under the influence of the Scottish "Common Sense" philosophers, notably Thomas Reid and Dugald Stewartthey held that some fundamental knowledge could be known intuitively—for example, that certain things were morally right and wrong, and that the world that human senses perceive in fact exists.

The trip, initially scheduled to last ten days, was extended to six months and resulted in the training of 35, people in the technique. Theodore Parker —60 was the son of a farmer who attended Harvard and became a Unitarian minister and accomplished linguist. It was precisely on this ground, however, that the transcendentalists found fault with Unitarianism.

Varma serves as chairman. I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.

Thoreau, Emerson, and Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism emerged from Unitarianism, or "liberal Christianity"—an anti-Calvinist, anti-Trinitarian, anticreedal offshoot of Puritanism that had taken hold among the middle and upper classes of eastern Massachusetts. Thus, Nature presents a way to free the mind of its typical distractions.

It has been accused of subverting Christianity; of assessing human nature too optimistically and underestimating human weakness and potential for evil; of placing too much emphasis on the self-reliant individual at the expense of society and social reform. Margaret Fuller was the daughter of a Massachusetts congressman who provided tutors for her in Latin, Greek, chemistry, philosophy and, later, German.

Obviously, the predilection to turn to the natural world for intimations of truth was a recurrent theme for the Romantics. The Unitarian apologetic took as its starting point the thesis of the British philosopher John Locke that all knowledge, including religious knowledge, was based on sense data.

Transcendentalists believe in intuition. It has been accused of subverting Christianity; of assessing human nature too optimistically and underestimating human weakness and potential for evil; of placing too much emphasis on the self-reliant individual at the expense of society and social reform.


Nonetheless, Unitarians held that only "objective" evidence could prove Jesus had delivered an authoritative revelation from God. Various organizations and periodicals gave the movement shape. The most famous transcendentalist magazine was the Dial —edited by Fuller and then by Emerson; other major periodicals associated with the movement included the Boston Quarterly Review —edited by Brownson, and the Massachusetts Quarterly Review —edited by Parker.

More than any other collection of documents, the publication history of The Dial reveals the heart, soul, and mind of the Transcendental Movement. Transcendentalism or Transcendentalist movement which began flourishing in the early 19th century America, especially in New England, was based on some of the concepts of Transcendental Philosophy but did not strictly follow it.

In America “transcendentalism” was mostly used in a literary form having a semi religious nature. Transcendentalism a philosophical and literary movement of the s that emphasized living a simple life and celebrated the truth found in nature and in personal and imagination "Civil Disobedience".

The Transcendental Movement: History and Concepts. Print Reference this. Disclaimer: This work has been submitted by a student. This is not an example of the work written by our professional academic writers.

You can view samples of our professional work here. American Romanticism and Transcendentalism were two philosophical and literary movements that reached their peak of influence at roughly the same time in American history.

Transcendentalism was primarily a religious movement, though influenced by Romanticism. Both movements emphasized the individual over tradition and social. The Transcendental Movement was nothing if not idealist. Not surprisingly, the conflation of German philosophy and English Romanticism transplanted on American soil produced something quite original.

The fact that the United States was still such a young nation, still seeking out her borders, had a powerful impact on the literature being produced.

Some of the major concepts of transcendentalism have persisted and become foundational in American thought. Probably the most important of these is the affirmation of the right of individuals to follow truth as they see it, even when contrary to established laws or customs.

The transcendental movement history and concepts
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Major ideas of transcendentalism