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Transcendentalism

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by

Carrie Kumpel

on 24 November 2014

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Transcript of Transcendentalism

Transcendentalism
What is transcendentalism?
A philosophical, literary and spiritual movement from 1836-1860 in New England

It's the first American Literary movement! (Yay, we define ourselves from Britain, finally!)
The Philosophy
to rebel against traditional rules, laws and religion. People are at their best when self-reliant. Institutions are corruptible.

to rebel against predestination. Man is inherently good and has his own will.

to emphasize the importance of the individual

to value nature as a source of inspiration and goodness
Religion
Prior to transcendentalists, people saw spirituality in strict, Puritan terms

Transcendentalists believed God was everywhere and in everything

They believed you could experience God through your intuition-- because God is in all people
Man's innate goodness
Individuals that are pure of heart are best able to connect to God through their soul. Such people can see beyond their ego to their soul. The soul is connected to God. God inspires-- man creates if he has his the will. It is man's job to reveal his inner light and connect.
God's relationship to man
They believed you could experience God personally through your own divine inner light

You can transcend your ordinary life and experience God symbolically and spiritually
Emerson, a transcendentalist philosopher writes:
We will walk on our own feet; we will work with our own hands; we will speak our own minds... A nation of men will for the first time exist, because each believes himself inspired by the Divine Soul which also inspires all men.
Truth
Comes from in you-- not just through the empirical world. You need to trust yourself.

They believed in
a priori
truths-- meaning, knowledge that is independent of experience. It is reasoning that you derive from thinking rather than from observation in the real world.
Think and Write: Select 3 of the 4 to respond independently
1. How are you affected by nature? Do you find comfort in it? What is the role of nature in your life?
2. What is meant by an individual's spiritual side? How do you define it?
Is there a connection between the individual's spirit and nature? If so, what is that connection?
3. What does it mean to know something intuitively? For example, has a parent or a sibling ever known something was wrong with you without having talked with or seen you? What do we mean when we say "I just know it"?
4. How do you demonstrate that you are an individual? Do you think independently of others or do you follow the crowd?
In Conclusion:
Transcendentalism values:

nonconformity
self-reliance
free-thought
confidence
nature
Is this Chipotle commercial an example of modern day Transcendentalism? Justify your answer.
New England
The transcendentalist's backyard
Full transcript