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The encyclopedia defines transcendentalism as A philosophy that emphasizes the a priorconditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or thatemphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality a philosophy that asserts the primacy ofthe spiritual and transcendental over the material and empirical Transcendentalism can also beinterpreted as divine and intellectual expression of American democracy where everyone has anequal opportunity of experiencing and expressing God themselves no matter wealth status orpolitical affiliation Transcendalism is a philosophic and literary movement that started in NewEngland This movement was a reaction against the eighteenth century rationalism Combiningromantic idealistic mystical and individualistic beliefs this movement was more about thoughtthan an actual philosophy Most aspects of the movement revolved around nature and a higherbeing This movement was subject to change and contradiction It did however have outlineswhich was based on God and unity of the world The Transcendental emphasis on the oneness ofindividual souls with nature and with God gave dignity and importance to human activity andmade possible a belief in the power to effect social change in harmony with Gods purposes Thetranscendentalists were influenced by romanticism especially concerning self-examination thecelebration of individualism and the wonders of nature Most transcendentalist writers didexpress to some extent their religious views toward nature the whole creation process and theydid notice some sort of connection between the universe and the indivdual spirit Some writersthat were heavily involved in this movement were Ralph Waldo Emerson Henry David Thoreauand Margaret Fuller Thoreau is the writer of Walden A actual account of the way he spent hislife when he decided to live in nature This quote gives Thoreaus opinion of people It is nevertoo late to give up your prejudicesThis quote expresses Thoreaus view on people and the world He believed we should tryto surpass our highest goals that we should learn as much as we can to live life to its fullest Hewas set on attaining his goal to become the best person
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