Of Eclecticism in Gk.
In the 2nd century B.C. a remarkable tendency toward eclecticism began to manifest itself.
A wave of eclecticism passed over all the Greek schools in the 1st century B.C. Platonism and scepticism had left undoubted traces upon the doctrine of such a reformer as Panaetius.
EKX yw, I select), a term used specially in philosophy and theology for a composite system of thought made up of views borrowed from various other systems. Where the characteristic doctrines of a philosophy are not thus merely adopted, but are the modified products of a blending of the systems from which it takes its rise, the philosophy is not properly eclectic. Eclecticism always tends to spring up after a period of vigorous constructive speculation, especially in the later stages of a controversy between thinkers of pre-eminent ability.
At the same time, the essence of eclecticism is the refusal to follow blindly one set of formulae and conventions, coupled with a determination to recognize and select from all sources those elements which are good or true in the abstract, or in practical affairs most useful ad hoc. Theoretically, therefore, eclecticism is a perfectly sound method, and the contemptuous significance which the word has acquired is due partly to the fact that many eclectics have been intellectual trimmers, sceptics or dilettanti, and partly to mere partisanship. On the other hand, eclecticism in the sphere of abstract thought is open to this main objection that, in so far as every philosophic system is, at least in theory, an integral whole, the combination of principles from hostile theories must result in an incoherent patchwork.
Cicero in particular is important as showing the effect or philosophical eclecticism upon Roman cultivation, and as the often author and always popularizer of the Latin terminology of philosophy.
This assumes that every philosophical truth is already contained somewhere in the existing systems. If, however, as it would surely be rash to deny, there still remains philosophical truth undiscovered, but discoverable by human intelligence, it is evident that eclecticism is not the only philosophy.
The cause of eclecticism is the unsatisfying character of the creeds of such science, in conjunction with the familiar law that, in triangular or plusquamtriangular controversies a common hatred will produce an alliance 4 Sextus Empiricus, Pyrrhon.
To this work, and that of Owen Jones, can be traced the origin of the eclecticism which has laid all past styles of art under contribution.
They become in practice Psychology, Ontology and Eclecticism in history.