Transcendentalism is a philosophy started in the early 19th century that promotes intuitive, spiritual thinking instead of scientific thinking based on material things.

Transcendentalism comes from the Latin word transcendere, which means to "climb over or beyond." Founders of the American transcendentalism movement were indeed trying to "climb beyond" traditional empirical thinking, favoring instead a person's intuition and natural spirituality. Ralph Waldo Emerson, a famous transcendentalist, summed up the beliefs of transcendentalism when he said, "What lies behind us, and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us."

Definitions of transcendentalism

n any system of philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical and material

transcendental philosophy
Type of:
the rational investigation of questions about existence and knowledge and ethics

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