Transcendentalism never really caught on in professional philosophy, possibly because of the structure of its arguments.As we saw in section 2, transcendentalism rejected both rationalism and empiricism, pointing out the limitations in both logic and observation.
We only (or at least mainly) understand the world through experience and the senses.
Philosophy and science should proceed by carefully observing the world, building up a supply of concrete facts, and then analyzing those facts.
Transcendentalism was America’s first major intellectual movement. At that time, the country was led by the first generation to have been born the Revolutionary War – a generation that had never known anything other than independence.
People in this generation couldn’t understand their parents’ reverence for European culture and philosophy, a reverence that was still strong in spite of the Americans’ desire for independence.
What we think of as “logic” is really just a heavily formalized version of instinct or intuition.
While some logic is helpful in clearing up our thoughts, we shouldn’t be too dependent on it.Probably no one is more strongly associated with transcendentalism than the American essayist Ralph Waldo Emerson.Emerson wrote fiery essays arguing for independence, self-reliance, and going beyond the boundaries of society.But logic and observation are our main ways of attaining the truth, and if you push back against both of them, then what is the foundation of your own argument?In other words, Transcendentalism was based on an intuition, a feeling – several philosophers got together and had similar feelings about society, religion, and truth, but what they didn’t have was a set of .We only (or at least mainly) understand the world through logical deduction from a set of basic, immutable truths.Philosophy and science should proceed by working out what the fundamental truths of reality are, and then working downwards in logical, mathematical steps from there. The best form of reasoning is deductive Rationality is always imperfect.Like Emerson, Carlin hated social rules and was constantly pushing limits – using cursewords in his routines and talking about taboo subjects like race and sexuality at a time when standup comics almost never dared to broach these uncomfortable topics.Emerson would have liked the quote, which celebrates both social awkwardness (talking to yourself) and independent thinking. in the 1820s, when America had fully established its independence from Britain.In the movie, John Preston is a Cleric, a law-enforcement officer required to take an emotion-suppressing pill every day so that he can carry out his duties without the interference of feelings.But when he misses his dose, Preston becomes increasingly aware of flaws in the system.