Transcendental — The word “transcendentalist” is often used these days to refer to the philosophy of Emerson, Thoreau and their ilk: the New England Transcendentalists of the mid-nineteenth century. While it is possible that Ludlow is also alluding to this, he does not seem elsewhere to have been very much influenced by this school of thought, except perhaps in his quasi-pantheism. The “Transcendentalism” he writes about here is the school of Kantean idealism, a trust in some intuitive inferences about the way of things that cannot be directly derived from sensed experience — in other words, an approach that goes against the philosophies in the Locke to Hume / Bolingbroke tradition he’s been criticizing.