American Immaterialism Research Paper by BrainC

American Immaterialism
This paper discusses the various philosophers who compose the branch of philosophy called 'American Immaterialism'.
# 52795 | 3,740 words | 13 sources | MLA | 2004 | US
Published on Sep 21, 2004 in Philosophy (History - 19th Century)

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This paper explains that American Immaterialism developed from George Berkeley, also known as Bishop Berkeley) whose philosophy was based on the European concept of immaterialism, which held that the only forms able to exist are 'ideas' and 'spirits'. The author points out that Jonathan Edwards was the first, or, at least, the most accepted, American philosopher to put forth the ideas of immaterialism, albeit he did so from the viewpoint of Puritan idealism. The paper explains that the Transcendental movement was composed of the idealistic notion of freedom as it was explained through the a priori nature of the individual's inner life, which is the key to a bigger, more inclusive reality that incorporates the whole of existence, as well as the ability to perceive and experience that existence.

Table of Contents
Berkeley's Immaterialism
Jonathan Edwards
The Transcendentalists
American Idealism and Spiritualism

From the Paper:

"America's philosophical journey begins with the European concept of immaterialism, transforms into a Puritan idealism in the works of Jonathan Edwards and develops from there into the transcendentalism of Emerson, Thoreau and Wordsworth. Eventually, it becomes the subjective idealism of the nineteenth century as purported by the philosopher Josiah Royce and is taken into the modern era as individualistic idealism and spiritualism as a religious foundation. All of this begins with the philosophical idealism of George Berkeley who believed "nothing exists other than God, finite spirits, and their ideas.""

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APA Format

American Immaterialism (2004, September 21) Retrieved March 29, 2023, from

MLA Format

"American Immaterialism" 21 September 2004. Web. 29 March. 2023. <>