Transcendent theosophy or al-hikmat al-muta’liyah (Persian: حكمت متعاليه), the doctrine and philosophy that has been developed and perfected by Persian Islamic philosopher, Mulla Sadra, is one of two main disciplines of Islamic philosophy which is very live and active even today.
The expression al-hikmat al-muta’liyah comprises two terms al-hikmat (meaning theosophia) and muta’liyah (meaning exalted or Transcendent). This school of Mulla Sadra in Islamic philosophy is usually called al-hikmat al-muta’liyah. It is a most appropriate name for his school, not only for historical reasons, but also because the doctrines of Mulla Sadra are veritably both hikmah or theosophy in its original sense and an intellectual vision of the transcendent which leads to the Transcendent Itself. So Mulla Sadra’s school is transcendent for both historical and metaphysical reasons.
A concept that lies at the heart of Mulla Sadra's philosophy is the idea of "existence precedes essence", a key foundational concept of existentialism. This was also the opposite of the idea of "essence precedes existence" previously supported by Avicenna and his school of Avicennism as well as Shahab al-Din Suhrawardi and his school of Illuminationism.
In modern philosophy, Kant introduced a new term - transcendental, thus instituting a new, third meaning. In his theory of knowledge, this concept is concerned with the conditions of possibility of knowledge itself. He also opposed the term transcendental to the term transcendent, the latter meaning "that, which goes beyond" (transcends) any possible knowledge of a human being. For him transcendental meant knowledge about our cognitive faculty with regard to how objects are possible a priori. "I call all knowledge transcendental if it is occupied, not with objects, but with the way that we can possibly know objects even before we experience them. He also equated transcendental with that which is "...in respect of the subject's faculty of cognition. Something is transcendental if it plays a role in the way in which the mind "constitutes" objects and makes it possible for us to experience them as objects in the first place. Ordinary knowledge is knowledge of objects; transcendental knowledge is knowledge of how it is possible for us to experience those objects as objects. This is based on Kant's acceptance of David Hume's argument that certain general features of objects (e.g. persistence, causal relationships) cannot derive from the sense impressions we have of them. Kant argues that the mind must contribute those features and make it possible for us to experience objects as objects. In the central part of his Critique of Pure Reason, the "Transcendental Deduction of the Categories", Kant argues for a deep interconnection between the ability to have self-consciousness and the ability to experience a world of objects. Through a process of synthesis, the mind generates both the structure of objects and its own unity. For Kant, the "transcendent", as opposed to the "transcendental", is that which lies beyond what our faculty of knowledge can legitimately know. Hegel's counter-argument to Kant was that to know a boundary is also to be aware of what it bounds and as such what lies beyond it – in other words, to have already transcended it.
In phenomenology, the "transcendent" is that which transcends our own consciousness - that which is objective rather than only a phenomenon of consciousness. Noema is employed in phenomenology to refer to the terminus of an intention as given for consciousness.
Jean-Paul Sartre also speaks of transcendence in his works. In Being and Nothingness, Sartre utilizes transcendence to describe the relation of the self to the object oriented world, as well as our concrete relations with others. For Sartre, the for-itself is sometimes called a transcendence. Additionally if the other is viewed strictly as an object, much like any other object, then the other is, for the for-itself, a transcendence-transcended. When the for-itself grasps the other in the others world, and grasps the subjectivity that the other has, it is referred to as transcending-transcendence. Thus, Sartre defines relations with others in terms of transcendence.