Transcendentalism, as the word is most commonly used, was a philosophical, religious, literary, cultural, and social movement associated in particular with early 19th century New England intellectuals such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and others.
In a larger, more traditionally philosophical, sense, transcendentalism refers to the belief that our existence is not limited only to matters of sensory experience, but that there is something, largely undefinable, which transcends, or goes beyond, that, whether called religious, mystical, or spiritual.
Important writings from this movement are:
- Ralph Waldo Emerson:
- Henry David Thoreau:
- Emerson, Henry Oliver (2008). Transcendentalism: Essential Essays of Emerson & Thoreau. Prestwick House, Inc. ISBN 1-60389-016-5.