Transcendentalist


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Transcendentalist

 

a member of the 19th-century American literary and philosophical movement of Transcendentalism. The Transcendentalists founded the Transcendental Club in Boston in 1836.

The acknowledged leader of Transcendentalism was R. W. Emerson, and the group’s most prominent members included the writers, critics, and social reformers H. Thoreau, G. Ripley, T. Parker, Margaret Fuller, and Elizabeth Peabody. Influenced by the German idealist philosophy of Kant and Hegel, as well as by the English romantics Coleridge and Carlyle, the Transcendentalists criticized bourgeois civilization from a romantic standpoint. They opposed to the world of avarice and vanity an ideal of individual self-perfection and spiritual freedom, which could be achieved through a pantheist contemplation of nature and the study of the humanities.

Transcendentalism was an individualist movement that attracted followers owing to its ethical spirit. Seeking to put their ideals into practice, in 1840 the Transcendentalists founded the Brook Farm community, which had about 100 members and was modeled after Fourier’s phalanstery. The disintegration of the community in 1847, which proved that the social program of the Transcendentalists was completely Utopian, was followed by a split in the movement. Some of the Transcendentalists were prominent abolitionists. Transcendentalism ceased to exist after the Civil War (1861–65).

REFERENCES

Istoriia amerikanskoi literatury, vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1947.
Bruks, V. V. Pisatel’ i amerikanskaia zhizn’, vol. 1. Moscow, 1967.
Transcendentalism and Its Legacy. Edited by M. Simon and T. H. Parsons. Ann Arbor, Mich., 1966.

V. A. KHARITONOV

References in periodicals archive ?
The transcendentalists believed all living things were bound together and humans were essentially good.
By comparison with this strangely effusive injunction, Fuller's at least manifest response was veritably down-to-earth: in a letter to a friend she happily acknowledged Mickiewicz's idea of her transnational mission but passed silently over his references to her as a tragic virgin and, elsewhere in his letter, "messenger of God"--even though the latter was a standard Transcendentalist trope and the former was then very much on her mind.
Mailer's left conservatism," according to Wenke, "represents the political expression of a syncretic philosophy that integrates such disparate elements as existential risk taking, nihilistic rebelliousness, and a transcendentalist faith that affirms the primacy of the self and the life of the spirit" (xxv).
Emerson's mystical tendencies are well known, and are encapsulated in the principal tenet of Transcendentalist philosophy: "The belief .
Frustrated with Martin-eau's and Lydia Maria Child's emphasis on politics over intellect, Fuller was suspicious of antislavery activism (perhaps in keeping with Emerson) but, like her Transcendentalist colleague, embraced the cause in Woman in the Nineteenth Century, where she would "make use of antislavery as 'a cause identical' to the enfranchisement of women" (145).
Transcendentalist universalization thus becomes not so much a political identity as an ethical posture: "Cosmopolitanism thus requires a process of existential transformations reflecting Emerson's ontology of becoming and psychology of a fluctuating personal identity" (253).
It laid out the Transcendentalist ethics of self-improvement and put forth the idea that a life goal is to pass into higher forms, a belief akin to Buddhist principles.
The appallingly bloody Battle of Shiloh in 1862 'would begin the slow and gradual process of raising troublesome questions that could no longer be answered by transcendentalist theory' (p.
I call the transcendentalist element of correlationism the correlationist nexus to distinguish it from the derivative forms of correlationism.
In a recent piece, journalist David Crumm labeled me an "American Transcendentalist Buddhist.
He was born and raised in Lancaster in a household that welcomed visitors from the Transcendentalist movement - Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry Thoreau, Bronson Alcott, influences that were formative in his experiments with plants.
By the time he returned to Concord in 1859, however, his transcendentalist neighbors' views had changed.