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Transcendentalism
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Freak Offline
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Post: #1
Transcendentalism

I never get help with the homework I post here, but I'll try anyways.

Transcendentalism is an optimistic philosophy from the 1800s. Characteristics of the philosophy are nonconformity, self-reliance, free thought, confidence, and the importance of nature (In Walden the narrator tried to find himself in nature, to find truth).

Ok, I need to find modern examples (The last 30 years) of media that shows how these philosophies permeate our culture. This can include- songs, movies, books, pictures, etc. It's multimedia.
Ways to be creative would be nice.


I could pick the transcendentalist topic, or how Puritan beliefs permeate our culture, or the use of persuasive tactics such as propaganda, politics, advertising, etc. (That's from the Age of Reason)

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02-16-2009 11:46 AM
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Bob Dole Offline
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Post: #2
Re: Transcendentalism

Sounds a lot like Romanticism. I've never particularly cared for either philosophy, as they promote emotion and gut feelings over logical and intelligent inquiry. Of course, a balance of emotion and logic is required, but logic should come before emotion, simply because rational thought produces better ideas (in my opinion) than the overabundance of emotion that causes so many problems.

Ah, as for recent examples of Transcendentalist thought, though, I would've said the hippies, but since you can only go back about thirty years, that's fuckin' shot. In general, you're going to want to look towards the happier subcultures.

I'd start out with surfer culture. The "soul surfer" is the best example I can think of that embodies all of those qualities.

Wikipedia Wrote:A term coined in the 1970's and used to describe a talented surfer who surfs for the sheer pleasure of surfing (although they may still enter in competitions, winning may not be the main motive) - since they scorn the commercialization of surfing.[1] The term denotes a spirituality of surfing or “...to pursue surfing not just as an athletic endeavor or as a sunny day diversion, but to try to glean whatever lessons you can from the practice. It means being aware of your surroundings, and respectful of the people and places that you interact with. It means being patient, mindful, kind, compassionate, understanding, active, thoughtful, faithful, hopeful, gracious, disciplined and…good.” [2] The term originates from a 1963 surf instrumental of the same name.

Apart from that, look towards some of the better aspects of rave culture, the PLUR acronym, etc.

As for finding media, you'll have to do a bit of diving yourself.

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02-16-2009 12:27 PM
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Freak Offline
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Re: Transcendentalism

You can't think of any songs, movies, or books that would fit into any of those philosophies?

And you shouldn't dismiss an entire philosophy because you disagree with one aspect.

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02-16-2009 01:58 PM
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Bob Dole Offline
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Re: Transcendentalism

I'm not dismissing it. I enjoy quite a few things those philosophies encourage, but I still dislike their "emotion over reason" thing.

As for media, I really don't know any. I'd say look up the Raver's Manifesto first, but beyond that, I haven't found any of the literature in my explorations online. Google would probably be your best bet.

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02-16-2009 02:01 PM
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Freak Offline
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Post: #5
Re: Transcendentalism

Nonconformity is very prevalent in modern, mainstream culture.

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02-16-2009 03:20 PM
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Bob Dole Offline
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Re: Transcendentalism

Freak Wrote:Nonconformity is very prevalent in modern, mainstream culture.
Aye. But nonconformity often just means conformity to some standard held by a smaller group.

Here's an earlier post I made on the topic:
Quote:The very idea of differentiating between "mainstream" thought and "nonconformist" thought is laughable. Some take the opinion that "mainstream" thought is always bad and "noncomformist" thought is always right. It's is a poison to any mind wishing to search for answers.

Mainstream thought is not right. Nor is nonconformist thought. Nonconformist thought too often means the type of thought endorsed by a subculture. Making it no less mainstream than mainstream thought at large. Real answers should only be arrived at by careful, well-reasoned inquiries into a subject by yourself, not allowing somebody else's opinion to poison your mind.

The concept of "sheeple" is asinine. It's used by a group of people to denounce thought not like their own as "conformist" and bad. While elevating the prevalent stream of thought in the group to automatic correct status. It suppresses actual independent thought in favor of a peer pressure enforced group think.

If a group or person was really dedicated to finding real answers free of the taint of another's opinions, they wouldn't use such silly buzzwords as "sheeple". Independent thinking does not require that one cast all those who disagree with them as "sheeple". Nonconformity is nothing but a veil for a new conformity. Instead of society at large, a "nonconformist" owes their loyalty to a larger group of "nonconformists", and hardly, if ever, questions the prevailing opinion. For if they do, they will be shunned from the community until their opinions meet the majority's approval.

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02-16-2009 03:41 PM
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Alucard483 Offline
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Post: #7
Re: Transcendentalism

Chris MacKindles (Into the Wild)

Everything else is older than 30yrs

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02-17-2009 03:10 PM
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Freak Offline
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Re: Transcendentalism

I don't care about the complexities of nonconformity, I just want an example of it's basic definition in modern America.

Thanks Alucard.
Though, I've never read it. How does it connect?


And anything relating to puritanism in modern culture would be cool too.

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02-23-2009 12:13 PM
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whistlingwings Offline
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Post: #9
Re: Transcendentalism

Alucard483 Wrote:Chris MacKindles (Into the Wild)

Everything else is older than 30yrs

Sorry, but this is an ignorant post. The book you're referring to concerns Christopher McCandless, and it was written by Jon Krakauer. Additionally, I'm sure there are books on transcendentalism that aren't older than 30 years.
02-23-2009 12:33 PM
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Freak Offline
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Re: Transcendentalism

How about telling me why that book concerns transcendentalism?

I understand that the guy went off, gave up material possessions, and then died or something. But did he find inner knowledge or something?

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02-23-2009 12:36 PM
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