transcendentalism

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transcendentalism

[tran-sen-den-tl-iz-uhm, -suhn-]
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; < German Transcendentalismus. See transcendental, -ism

transcendentalist, noun, adjective
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
transcendentalism (ˌtrænsɛnˈdɛntəˌlɪzəm)
 
n
1.  a.  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
 b.  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
 
transcen'dentalist
 
n, —adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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American Heritage
Cultural Dictionary

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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Example sentences
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.
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