How do transcendentalists define truth?
What is their view on education?
What are their views on work and worldly success?
- phrogLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
transcendentalism is an idealistic (but not very realistic) system of thought based on a belief in the essential unity of all creation, the innate goodness of humankind, and the supremacy of vision over logic and experience for the revelation of the deepest truths, with natural phenomena as symbols of the higher spiritual truths. divine truth would be known intuitively.
because they believed religious truth could be known naturally, like any other truth, they tend to reject the idea of miraculous inspiration as unnecessary and dismiss the claim made for the Bible (that it had unique miraculous authority) as false. they respected Jesus, but the more radical of them, (like Emerson and Parker), attacked the miracle stories as pious myths.
they advocated innovative methods that were supposed to develop a child's innate knowledge; (look up Alcott's experimental Boston school in the mid-1830s). Elizabeth Peabody (who played a major role in bringing the European kindergarten to America) ascribed to this approach. they also were critical that education (and other fields) be more accepting of women.
idealistic - no gap between thinkers and workers. a properly organized society could accomplish all necessary social work by doing only what they were naturally inclined to do. they were kind of big on character issues in the work - Emerson said ".....man who has leaned entirely on his character, and eaten angels' food; who, trusting to his sentiments, found life made of miracles; who, working for universal aims, found himself fed, he knew not how; clothed, sheltered, and weaponed, he knew not how, and yet it was done by his own hands."