Transcendentalism and Ralph Waldo Emerson Essay examples

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Transcendentalism and Ralph Waldo Emerson Transcendentalism was a literary movement that began in the beginning of the 1800’s and lasted up until the Civil War. Ralph Waldo Emerson was a man whose views on life and the universe were intriguing and influential. Emerson, along with other great men, helped to mold what Transcendentalism was and what it was to become. Without these men, Transcendentalism would not have been anything. Nor would these men have been anything without this concept. So what is Transcendentalism anyway and how have men’s thoughts and outlooks been able make it what it is remembered as? Transcendentalism was prominent in the cultural life of the U.S., especially in New England from 1836 to…show more content…
According to his understanding of Kant, transcendentalism becomes a union of solipsism under which the only verifiable reality is thought to be self. It also comes from materialism in which the only verifiable reality is thought to be quantifiable outside world of objects, and sense data. Through this fusion, transcendentalism was transported to America as a philosophy. Through his source of most of its poetry and mysticism, Emerson fostered the growth of transcendentalism of the New England variant. His ideas, which came from Kant, were taken from the German philosopher Immanuel Kant whose ideas of the universe and soul were very intriguing. He believed in “transcendental knowledge” but confined it to things such as time, space, quantity and casualty, which in his views were imposed by the perception of human minds. He regarded these aspects as the universal sense experience. Emerson, however, extended this concept of transcendental knowledge to include moral and other truths that go beyond the limits of the human sense experience, which Kant had specifically denied. Besides Kant, other intellectual predecessors of American Transcendentalism are very diverse and few, but include post-Kantian German Idealists, the English thinkers Samuel Taylor Coleridge and Thomas Carlyle (who were also exponents of German Idealism), Plato, Neoplatonists, the occult Swedish theologian
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