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transcendentalism

[tran-sen-den-tl-iz-uh m, -suh n-] /ˌtræn sɛnˈdɛn tlˌɪz əm, -sən-/
noun
1.
transcendental character, thought, or language.
2.
Also called transcendental philosophy. any philosophy based upon the doctrine that the principles of reality are to be discovered by the study of the processes of thought, or a philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical: in the U.S., associated with Emerson.
Origin
1795-1805
1795-1805; < German Transcendentalismus. See transcendental, -ism
Related forms
transcendentalist, noun, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for transcendentalism
  • The work is a fine blend of formalism, hedonism and transcendentalism.
  • Theologians and philosophers have almost always focused on transcendentalism as the means to validate ethics.
  • Reviews the purposes of adult education and the history of transcendentalism.
British Dictionary definitions for transcendentalism

transcendentalism

/ˌtrænsɛnˈdɛntəˌlɪzəm/
noun
1.
  1. any system of philosophy, esp that of Kant, holding that the key to knowledge of the nature of reality lies in the critical examination of the processes of reason on which depends the nature of experience
  2. any system of philosophy, esp that of Emerson, that emphasizes intuition as a means to knowledge or the importance of the search for the divine
2.
vague philosophical speculation
3.
the state of being transcendental
4.
something, such as thought or language, that is transcendental
Derived Forms
transcendentalist, noun, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for transcendentalism
n.

1803, in reference to Kant, later to Schelling; 1842 in reference to the New England religio-philosophical movement; from transcendental + -ism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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transcendentalism in Culture

transcendentalism definition


A movement in nineteenth-century American literature and thought. It called on people to view the objects in the world as small versions of the whole universe and to trust their individual intuitions. The two most noted American transcendentalists were Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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