Definition of Transcendentalism

1. Noun. Any system of philosophy emphasizing the intuitive and spiritual above the empirical and material.

Exact synonyms: Transcendental Philosophy
Generic synonyms: Philosophy
Derivative terms: Transcendental, Transcendentalist

Definition of Transcendentalism

1. n. The transcending, or going beyond, empiricism, and ascertaining a priori the fundamental principles of human knowledge.

Definition of Transcendentalism

1. Noun. The transcending, or going beyond, empiricism, and ascertaining a priori the fundamental principles of human knowledge. ¹

2. Noun. Ambitious and imaginative vagueness in thought, imagery, or diction. ¹

3. Noun. A philosophy which holds that reasoning is key to understanding reality (associated with Kant); philosophy which stresses intuition and spirituality (associated with Ralph Waldo Emerson); transcendental character or quality. ¹

4. Noun. A movement of writers and philosophers in New England in the 19th century who were loosely bound together by adherence to an idealistic system of thought based on a belief in the essential supremacy of insight over logic and experience for the revelation of the deepest truths. ¹

¹ Source:

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Lexicographical Neighbors of Transcendentalism

transcendental anatomy
transcendental critique
transcendental egos
transcendental function
transcendental functions
transcendental idealism
transcendental meditation
transcendental number
transcendental numbers
transcendental philosophy
transcendental realism
transcendentalism (current term)

Literary usage of Transcendentalism

Below you will find example usage of this term as found in modern and/or classical literature:

1. The New Englander by William Lathrop Kingsley (1878)
"Joseph Cook's Lectures on transcendentalism. James R. Osgood & Co., Boston. 1878. A STUDENT, when asked in the class room for an illustration of the law of ..."

2. The New Realism: Coöperative Studies in Philosophy by Edwin Bissell Holt, Walter Taylor Marvin, William Pepperell Montague, Ralph Barton Perry, Walter B. Pitkin, Edward Gleason Spaulding (1912)
"One thing just as dogmatist he does not do, and that is to deny any of the existential propositions of transcendentalism. It may be that the world is a ..."

3. The New Realism: Coöperative Studies in Philosophy by Edwin Bissell Holt (1912)
"If so, again it is a generalization from science.1 Now neither of these methods of discovery is consistent with transcendentalism, nor can either be made to ..."

4. American Literature by Julian Willis Abernethy (1902)
"CHAPTER IV transcendentalism THE most important influence in the development ... transcendentalism was a vagrant impulse started in Germany, and passed on ..."

5. The Speaker: Being One of a Series of Handbooks Upon Practical Expression by George Lansing Raymond, Marion Mills Miller (1892)
"NATURAL transcendentalism IN LITERATURE. BAIRD PRIZE ORATION, BY CHAS. ... a transcendentalism calm, marking the advancement and deliverance of the spirit ..."

6. Elements of Logic: Together with an Introductory View of Philosophy in by Henry Philip Tappan (1856)
"transcendentalism begins with sensation no less than sensualism. ... But then transcendentalism does not make the sensations, the radical, generating and ..."

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