Meaning of Eclecticism

What is Eclecticism:

Eclecticism is the tendency to form a criterion or plan of action from the combination of doctrines, theories, systems, ideas or styles of different currents, without choosing a single point of view.

The term comes from the Greek expression eklegein, which means "choose". Thus, those people who to judge a situation or act, instead of deciding on a single doctrine or system, decide to combine elements of different currents, or who seek to reconcile different points of view, are said to practice eclecticism.

Eclecticism is characterized, thus, by not adhering strictly to any doctrine in its "pure" state, but to those elements of various doctrines that are convenient to complement information or to leave open the possibilities of new paradigms.

Eclecticism in philosophy

Eclecticism is also called a school of thought formed in the Old Classical during the second century BC, which was characterized by gathering and choosing criteria of philosophical doctrines from different schools.

In principle, it was a way of synthesizing the contributions of each of the schools of thought of antiquity. This type of thinking was widely practiced by the Romans. An example of this is Cicero, who applied both principles of Stoicism and skepticism.

This type of philosophical approach has not only been seen in classical antiquity, but was also put into practice during the Middle Ages, the 18th and 19th centuries.

Eclecticism in art and architecture

In architecture, eclecticism refers to the tendency to use architectural elements of different styles and eras in a single building. An example of this is the Colón Theater in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which combines elements of Italian Renaissance architecture, as well as characteristic features of French and German architecture. This type of aesthetic proposal was very current in the 19th century, which took time to find its own style and, therefore, appealed to historical revisionism.

In art, we also speak of eclecticism when artists incorporate elements from other visual trends and combine them with each other. In fact, in none of these cases does eclecticism represent a style in itself but only a trend. For that reason, there may be eclectic works and artists in different periods of history.

See also

  • Philosophy
  • Doctrine

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