Transcendentalism and existentialism are movements that focus on the individual. Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that emerged in the early 19th century. It emphasizes subjective experience and intuition over objective knowledge. On the other hand, existentialism is a 20th-century philosophical movement that focuses on the individual’s existence and their choices in a universe without meaning or purpose. This article will explore the main differences between these two philosophies.
Existentialists believe that it is meaningless to search for objective truth because there is none. The goal of existentialism is to help individuals find meaning in their lives. Those who subscribe to existentialist principles avoid nihilism and resignation. They continue to live and take responsibility for their destiny. Existentialism is a philosophical way of thinking that focuses on the individual’s free will when it comes to making decisions about one’s life. This philosophy states that people should make rational decisions based on their own experiences rather than relying on external authorities.
Transcendentalism is derived from the Latin word ‘transcend,’ which means ‘to exceed’ or ‘to go beyond.’ The founders of this movement wanted to overcome traditional empirical thinking, relying instead on intuition and man’s natural spirituality [Source].
Transcendentalism is a philosophical movement that emphasizes the importance of intuition and feeling over reason and sense experience (sight, hearing, taste, touch, and smell). The fundamental principles of human knowledge can be achieved without reference to experience. It is a philosophy that gives priority to reason as the key to understanding reality. Transcendentalism is also inclined toward spirituality. It includes three principles, namely individualism, idealism, and the divinity of nature.
Similarities between existentialism and transcendentalism
The concept of the individual is common to both existentialism and transcendentalism. The concept of the individual is crucial to how one’s life develops. World events and social values, for example, are significant only insofar as they affect a person’s choices, but they are not above the individual. These theories can be called individualistic.
Another commonality is that these philosophies are humanistic. This means that their core beliefs aim to explain how humans must deal with life on Earth. The founders of these philosophies were concerned with the interaction between man and his environment. They wanted to provide formulas for anyone seeking guidance in our cold and cruel world.
Both existentialism and transcendentalism emphasize human capabilities of making relevant life choices that will shape their future. They tend to argue that man, although immortal, can determine his existence in this universe. In existentialism and transcendentalism, people are capable of making relevant choices.
Differences between existentialism and transcendentalism
Although both are humanistic philosophies, existentialism and transcendentalism differ in their core values and beliefs. Existentialism (philosophy|not to be counted) is a twentieth-century philosophical movement that emphasizes the uniqueness of each human existence in freely choosing itself.” In contrast, transcendentalism is the “transcendence or transcending of empiricism and establishing the fundamental principles of human knowledge a priori.”
Moreover, transcendentalists believe in the existence of a divine spirit. Such a spirit binds all people to a universal belief system with the same goal of coming close to God. The term ‘divine’ brings the aspect of religious tendencies into transcendentalism. However, existentialists are divided on the aspect of divine concepts. Existentialists can be further divided into atheistic and theistic existentialists, the former rejecting the existence of a deity or adherence to religious rules and the latter adhering to religious beliefs. Theistic existentialists believe in the existence of God and his influence over our lives. Atheistic existentialists do not believe in the existence of God because they have an atheistic attitude.