Transcendentalism, the Philosophy of the Mind

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Transcendentalism is the view that the basic truth of the

universe lies beyond the knowledge obtained from the senses, a

knowledge that transcendentalists regard as the mere appearance of

things (Adventures 162). Transcendentalists believe the mind is

where ideas are formed. The transcendentalist ideas of God, man,

and the universe were not all original, but were a combination of other

philosophies and religions.

One of the major questions of philosophy is 'What is the nature

of the universe?' Immanuel Kant was one of the major

Transcendentalists of his time. One of the major questions he asked

was, 'What is knowledge, and how is it possible?' Transcendentalists

believe that one really only knows personal experiences, and that one

can not know the universe which exists. Kant came to the conclusion

that there are two universes, one of experience, called the

'Phenomenal Universe', and the other the 'Noumenal Universe', the

one of reason.

The first is scientific and the other practical (Frost 42).

Transcendentalists think there is a dimension of depth in everything

that exists. They also think the spirit is what controls your physical side

(Halverson 431). Some transcendentalists say the world has no

beginning in time, everything takes place according to the laws of

nature. The same people think there is not necessarily an absolute

Being who causes the world to be (Frost 42). Transcendentalists think

nature is a product of the mind, and without the mind nature would not

exist (Santayana 42). These ideas come from the Romantic traditions

which originated in England. The Romantics believed in spiritual unity

of all forms of being, with God, humanity, and nature sharing a

universal soul (Adventures 208).

Transcendentalists came to the conclusion that good and evil

were things only man could control. Their belief of man is that man...