The Romantic Veil (of Perception): American Transcendentalism and British Romanticism as a Continuation of Lockean Empiricism

Christian Knirsch

Abstract


When it comes to the epistemological basis of British romanticism and American transcendentalism, a traditional approach would certainly refer to Kant’s transcendental philosophy which is commonly considered an antithesis to Locke’s empiricism. A new trend in philosophical research now suggests that romantic theories are an addition to rather than a refutation of empiricism. This essay traces the interdependencies between transcendental thought and empiricism in the writings of Coleridge and Emerson.

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