What is eclectic?

We explain to you what eclectic means and what sustains the philosophical current of eclecticism. History and characteristics of this thought.

  1. What is eclectic?

The eclectic term   refers to a person who practices a way of life, where his thoughts and actions derive from a philosophical current called eclecticism.

Eclecticism, meanwhile, is a word that comes from the Greek eklegein, which means choosing or choosing . This largely explains the basis of the philosophical stance that bears this name, which was born in ancient Greece, S II BC, which sought the important aspects of the various philosophical currents since the beginning of it, without premises or preconceived ideas, neither a limit or a margin, that is, without a paradigm . These could have origins as different as interesting, but not therefore exclusive.

Something that stood out greatly to the eclectic was that, instead of continuing to create opposing dogmas, as was usual during this time, they found the congruent link between ideas of both Plato and Aristotle , something unthinkable for some, since Stoicism and Metaphysics are antagonistic in their conception of reality , that is, from the root.

Eclecticism arises in the Second Century BC , through the elaboration of synthesis of the main ideas provided by the classical philosophy prior to the Plato and Aristotle pre-Socratic. At this time two characters stood out: one of them was Panecio de Rodas, who created his ideas based on Platonism and Stoicism and the other was Antiochus of Ascalon, who made his own union from stoicism and skepticism.

  1. History of the eclectic term

The thinkers of both the Second Century and the First Century BC, specifically in Rome and Greece, abandoned interest in the theoretical of man , focusing on the practical knowledge of it.

In Greece they focus on ancient Stoicism and Plato’s school turns to the skeptical attitude facing Stoic thinking. And the Stoics, meanwhile, find their way to new ideas focused on new problems. Names such as Panecio, Arcelisao, Carnéades and Posidonio , among others, appear in this intellectual movement .

Advanced to the 1st century BC is invaded by syncretism, giving a different and characteristic accent to the New Academy of Varrón and Cicerón, who address the plausible to find probable bases of practical knowledge.

From Athens to Rome passes the teaching of Philo of Larisa at the beginning of the 1st century BC , who leaves skepticism to advance to stoicism, also motivated by practical knowledge. Antiochus continues in the eclectic mode, finding both stoic and skeptic elements to have the foundations of what virtue and happiness consist of .

In Rome, from the mid-2nd century BC a Roman Epicurean school is found and a visit from Panecio is received. During the 1st century BC, those belonging to the Platonic school, find a space for the transmission of their knowledge in the capital, these were Antiochus and Philo.

During this time important thinkers emerge as Marco Terencio Varrón and Marco Tulio Cicerón , formed by Antíoco de Ascalón and by Filón. Cicero maintained a special posture regarding dogmas, basically because he fled from them and had an affinity for the ideas of Philo and Antiochus, since they were the most congruent and lacked the arrogance very typical of the main philosophical schools, since these were extreme and quite rigid, they did not accept another way of thinking, something that does exist in eclecticism.

This perception of the world, far from the rigidity, approaches the most human part, in fact, his interest was the highest good and they did not believe in the objectivity of reality . Nor does he agree that only the wise can approach virtuosity or good, as the Stoics argued. Rather, it seeks a philosophy for all, not for those who position themselves above the “mortals”, although the wisdom they reach has not yet been possessed by a common human being.

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