The Most Famous Transcendentalist: Ranking the Iconic Figure of Transcendentalism

Choose the Transcendentalist you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 25, 2024 07:20
Step into the world of Transcendentalism and exercise your voting power in our latest ranking of the most famous Transcendentalists! Immerse yourself in the profound philosophies and literary masterpieces that have shaped the course of history, and join thousands of others in casting your vote for the most influential Transcendentalist figure. Be it the iconic Ralph Waldo Emerson, the trailblazing Margaret Fuller, or the introspective Henry David Thoreau - the choice is yours! And if you think we've missed an essential name, don't hesitate to suggest your own transcendent addition to our list. Dive deep into the realm of self-reliance, nature's wisdom, and spiritual awakening, and help us determine the true champion of Transcendentalism today!

Who Is the Most Famous Transcendentalist?

  1. 1
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
    Scewing · Public domain
    Ralph Waldo Emerson - considered the father of Transcendentalism, Emerson's essays and lectures on nature, self-reliance, and individualism were foundational to the movement.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson in other rankings
  2. 2
    Henry David Thoreau
    B. D. Maxham · Public domain
    Henry David Thoreau is perhaps the second most well-known Transcendentalist, Thoreau's Walden is a seminal work in American literature and an exploration of living a simple, deliberate life.
    Henry David Thoreau in other rankings
  3. 3
    Margaret Fuller
    John Plumbe · Public domain
    Margaret Fuller is a writer, editor, and women's rights activist, Fuller's Woman in the Nineteenth Century is a landmark feminist text and she was an influential figure in the Transcendentalist movement.
    Margaret Fuller in other rankings
  4. 4
    Walt Whitman
    George Collins Cox · Public domain
    Walt Whitman is though not technically a Transcendentalist, Whitman was inspired by the movement and his poetry reflects many of its themes, such as the importance of individual experience and the interconnectedness of all things.
    Walt Whitman in other rankings
  5. 5
    Louisa May Alcott
    Adam Cuerden · Public domain
    Louisa May Alcott is best known for her novel Little Women, Alcott was also a Transcendentalist who wrote about nature, spirituality, and the importance of self-reliance.
    Louisa May Alcott in other rankings
  6. 6
    Elizabeth Palmer Peabody is a teacher, writer, and publisher, Peabody was an important figure in the Transcendentalist movement and helped to bring German philosophy and literature to America.
  7. 7
    Amos Bronson Alcott
    Photographer unidentified · Public domain
    Amos Bronson Alcott is a philosopher, educator, and father of Louisa May Alcott, Alcott was a key figure in the Transcendentalist movement and founded a progressive school in Massachusetts.
  8. 8
    Bronson Alcott
    Photographer unidentified · Public domain
    Bronson Alcott is a teacher, writer, and philosopher, Bronson Alcott was a close friend of Emerson and a major influence on the Transcendentalist movement.
  9. 9
    Orestes Brownson
    George Peter Alexander Healy · Public domain
    Orestes Brownson is a theologian, philosopher, and writer, Brownson was initially a Unitarian minister but later became a Catholic and continued to explore Transcendentalist themes in his work.
  10. 10
    Thomas Wentworth Higginson
    Unknown authorUnknown author · Public domain
    Thomas Wentworth Higginson is a writer, abolitionist, and women's rights activist, Higginson was a friend of Thoreau and Emerson and wrote extensively about Transcendentalism and its impact on American culture.

Missing your favorite Transcendentalist?


Ranking factors for famous Transcendentalist

  1. Influence and impact
    Consider the individual's impact on the Transcendentalist movement and their lasting influence on literature, philosophy, and society. How widely their ideas were spread and how much they contributed to shaping the movement's core principles.
  2. Literary works
    Evaluate the significance and quality of their literary contributions. Consider notable writings, essays, books, or poems that played a pivotal role in spreading Transcendentalist ideas, and examine the lasting impact of their works.
  3. Popularity and recognition
    Assess the level of recognition and popularity the individual achieved during their lifetime and since then. Consider factors like public reception, critical acclaim, and the extent to which their ideas and works continue to be celebrated and studied.
  4. Association with other prominent Transcendentalists
    Consider the extent to which the individual collaborated or interacted with other notable figures within the Transcendentalist movement. Evaluate the influence they had on their contemporaries and the intellectual synergy they generated through their collaborations.
  5. Overall contribution to Transcendentalist philosophy
    Examine the extent to which the individual's ideas and beliefs contributed to the development and evolution of Transcendentalist philosophy as a whole. Consider the originality, novelty, and depth of their ideas, and how they contributed to the broader intellectual discourse.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous Transcendentalist. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or Transcendentalist is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 192 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Transcendentalist once every 24 hours. The rank of each Transcendentalist is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous transcendentalist

Transcendentalism was a philosophical movement that emerged in the mid-19th century in the United States. The Transcendentalists believed in the power of intuition and individualism, and sought to transcend the limitations of the physical world in order to achieve a deeper understanding of reality. Some of the most famous Transcendentalists include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, and Margaret Fuller. These thinkers were highly influential in shaping American literature and culture, and their ideas continue to be studied and debated today. While there is no clear consensus on who the most famous Transcendentalist is, there is no doubt that these thinkers had a profound impact on American thought and society. Their ideas about individualism, nature, and spirituality continue to resonate with people around the world.

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