He became one of the famous circle of the transcendentalists, always keenly preserving his own individuality amongst such more or less potent natures as Emerson, Hawthorne and Margaret Fuller.
TheDial(1840-1844), Boston, the organ of the transcendentalists, was first edited by Margaret Fuller, and subsequently by R.
These "conversations," as he called them, were more or less informal talks on a great range of topics, spiritual, aesthetic and practical, in which he emphasized the ideas of the school of American Transcendentalists led by Emerson, who was always his supporter and discreet admirer.
But though he formulated no system of philosophy, and seemed to show the influence now of Plato, now of Kant, or of German thought as filtered through the brain of Coleridge, he was, like his American master, associate and friend, steadily optimistic, idealistic, individualistic. The teachings of William Ellery Channing a little before, as to the sacred inviolability of the human conscience - anticipating the later conclusions of Martineau - really lay at the basis of the work of most of the Concord transcendentalists and contributors to The Dial, of whom Alcott was one.
The experiment was one of the practical manifestations of the spirit of "Transcendentalism," in New England, though many of the more prominent transcendentalists took no direct part in it.
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