From Eagleton's Literary Theory:
"That any such transcendental meaning is fiction--though perhaps a necessary fiction--is one consequence of the theory of language I have outlined" (114).
When I was in high school, I remember going over transcendentalism but I cannot remember it at all. Every time I run across the word, I mean to look it up. This time, however, I'm not going to let it fall through the cracks!
According to www.merriam-webster.com, to transcend means:
1 a: exceeding usual limits : surpassing b: extending or lying beyond the limits of ordinary experience cin Kantian philosophy : being beyond the limits of all possible experience and knowledge2: being beyond comprehension
The definition makes sense because the prefix trans means, according to dictionary.com “across,” “beyond,” “through,” and a few other meanings that I found not applicable. The suffix "scend" means to "climb." So by putting the two together, you get to climb through or to climb beyond. I think that reflects the definition well.
Then there is the literary movement called "transcendentalism," which I think we can all benefit from knowing. Merriam-webster said it was:
1: a philosophy that emphasizes the a priori conditions of knowledge and experience or the unknowable character of ultimate reality or that emphasizes the transcendent as the fundamental reality
I don't know about you, but that does not help too much. Next I went to wikipedia where I pretty much learned that transcendentalism was a rebellion against the Unitarian Church. It seemed to be a movement that practiced self-reliance and was strictly founded in the spiritual world. Their beliefs went beyond actual experiences and the church and seemed to focus a lot on nature. Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau are the two most famous transcendentalists.
What do you think? Do you have anything to add?