Eclecticism is a conceptual approach that does not hold rigidly to a single paradigm or set of assumptions, but instead draws upon multiple theories, styles, or ideas to gain complementary insights into a subject, or applies different theories in particular cases. However, this is often without conventions or rules dictating how or which theories were combined.
It can sometimes seem inelegant or lacking in simplicity, and eclectics are sometimes criticized for lack of consistency in their thinking. It is, however, common in many fields of study. For example, most psychologists accept certain aspects of behaviorism, but do not attempt to use the theory to explain all aspects of human behavior.
Eclecticism was first recorded to have been practiced by a group of ancient Greek and Roman philosophers who attached themselves to no real system, but selected from existing philosophical beliefs those doctrines that seemed most reasonable to them. Out of this collected material they constructed their new system of philosophy. The term comes from the Greek ἐκλεκτικός (eklektikos), literally "choosing the best", and that from ἐκλεκτός (eklektos), "picked out, select". Well known eclectics in Greek philosophy were the Stoics Panaetius and Posidonius, and the New Academics Carneades and Philo of Larissa. Among the Romans, Cicero was thoroughly eclectic, as he united the Peripatetic, Stoic, and New Academic doctrines. Philo's successor and Cicero's teacher Antiochus of Ascalon is credited with influencing the Academy so that it finally transitioned from Scepticism to Eclecticism. Other eclectics included Varro and Seneca the Younger.
According to Rošker and Suhadolnik, however, even though eclecticism had a Greek origin, the term was rarely used and it was even given a negative connotation by historians of Greek thought, associating it with the description for impure and unoriginal thinking. Scholars such as Clement of Alexandria maintained that eclecticism had a long history in Greek philosophy and it is underpinned by a deeper metaphysical and theological conviction concerning the absolute/God as the source of all noble thoughts and that all parts of the truth can be found among the various philosophical systems.
The term eclecticism is used to describe the combination, in a single work, of elements from different historical styles, chiefly in architecture and, by implication, in the fine and decorative arts. The term is sometimes also loosely applied to the general stylistic variety of 19th-century architecture after neoclassicism (c. 1820), although the revivals of styles in that period have, since the 1970s, generally been referred to as aspects of historicism.
Eclecticism plays an important role in critical discussions and evaluations but is somehow distant from the actual forms of the artifacts to which it is applied, and its meaning is thus rather indistinct. The simplest definition of the term—that every work of art represents the combination of a variety of influences—is so basic as to be of little use. In some ways Eclecticism is reminiscent of Mannerism in that the term was used pejoratively for much of the period of its currency, although, unlike Mannerism, Eclecticism never amounted to a movement or constituted a specific style: it is characterized precisely by the fact that it was not a particular style.
Some martial arts can be described as eclectic in the sense that they borrow techniques from a wide variety of other martial arts.
In textual criticism, eclecticism is the practice of examining a wide number of text witnesses and selecting the variant that seems best. The result of the process is a text with readings drawn from many witnesses. In a purely eclectic approach, no single witness is theoretically favored. Instead, the critic forms opinions about individual witnesses, relying on both external and internal evidence.
Since the mid-19th century, eclecticism, in which there is no a priori bias to a single manuscript, has been the dominant method of editing the Greek text of the New Testament (currently, the United Bible Society, 4th ed. and Nestle-Åland, 27th ed.). Even so, the oldest manuscripts, being of the Alexandrian text-type, are the most favored, and the critical text has an Alexandrian disposition.
In ancient philosophy, the Eclectics use elements from multiple philosophies, texts, life experiences and their own philosophical ideas. These ideas include life as connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language. Antiochus of Ascalon (c. 125 – c. 69 BC), was the pupil of Philo of Larissa, and the teacher of Cicero. Through his influence, Platonism made the transition from New Academy skepticism to Eclecticism.:273 Whereas Philo had still adhered to the doctrine that there is nothing absolutely certain, Antiochus returned to a pronounced dogmatism. Among his other objections to skepticism was the consideration that without firm convictions no rational content of life is possible.:273 Antiochus pointed out that it is a contradiction to assert that nothing can be asserted or to prove that nothing can be proved; that we cannot speak of false ideas and at the same time deny the distinction between false and true.:274 He expounded the Academic, Peripatetic, and Stoic systems in such a way as to show that these three schools deviate from one another only in minor points.:274 Antiochus himself was chiefly interested in ethics, in which he tried to find a middle way between Zeno, Aristotle, and Plato. For instance, he said that virtue suffices for happiness, but for the highest grade of happiness bodily and external goods are necessary as well.:274
This eclectic tendency was favoured by the lack of dogmatic works by Plato.:305 Middle Platonism was promoted by the necessity of considering the main theories of the post-Platonic schools of philosophy, such as the Aristotelian logic and the Stoic psychology and ethics (theory of goods and emotions).:306 On the one hand the Middle Platonists were engaged like the later Peripatetics in scholarly activities such as the exposition of Plato's doctrines and the explanation of his dialogues; on the other hand they attempted to develop the Platonic theories systematically. In so far as it was subject in this to the influence of Neopythagoreanism, it was of considerable importance in preparing the way for Neoplatonism.:306
Eclecticism is recognized in approaches to psychology that see many factors influencing behavior and cognition or psyche. In the 1970s, psychologists started using whichever approaches and techniques that they deemed appropriate for their client. They take multiple perspectives into consideration while identifying, explaining, and changing the behavior of the client.
Contemporary classical music can be understood as belonging to the period that started in the mid-1970s to early 1990s, which includes current postmodern, neoromantic, and pluralist music. However, the term may also be employed in a broader sense to refer to all post-1945 musical forms including late modernist music.Dzongsar Monastery
Dzongsar Monastery is a Buddhist monastery in Dêgê County in the Garzê Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan, China, southeast of the town of Derge and east of Palpung Monastery. Historically it lay in the Kham region of Tibet. It was founded in 746, destroyed in 1958, and rebuilt in 1983.
The monastery belongs to the Sakya school of Tibetan Buddhism and was the main seat of Jamyang Khyentse Wangpo and Jamyang Khyentse Chökyi Lodrö. However it is noted for its eclecticism of the Rimé movement and its openness to most of the teaching sects of Tibetan Buddhism.Eclecticism in architecture
Eclecticism is a nineteenth and twentieth-century architectural style in which a single piece of work incorporates a mixture of elements from previous historical styles to create something that is new and original. In architecture and interior design, these elements may include structural features, furniture, decorative motives, distinct historical ornament, traditional cultural motifs or styles from other countries, with the mixture usually chosen based on its suitability to the project and overall aesthetic value.
The term is also used of the many architects of the 19th and early 20th centuries who designed buildings in a variety of styles according to the wishes of their clients, or their own. The styles were typically revivalist, and each building might be mostly or entirely consistent within the style selected, or itself an eclectic mixture. Gothic Revival architecture, especially in churches, was most likely to strive for a relatively "pure" revival style from a particular medieval period and region, while other revived styles such as Neoclassical, Baroque, Palazzo style, Jacobethan, Romanesque and many others were likely to be treated more freely.Eclecticism in art
Eclecticism is a kind of mixed style in the fine arts: "the borrowing of a variety of styles from different sources and combining them" (Hume 1998, 5). Significantly, Eclecticism hardly ever constituted a specific style in art: it is characterized by the fact that it was not a particular style. In general, the term describes the combination in a single work of a variety of influences—mainly of elements from different historical styles in architecture, painting, and the graphic and decorative arts. In music the term used may be either eclecticism or polystylism.Eclecticism in music
In music, eclecticism is the conscious use of styles alien to the composer's own nature, or from a bygone era. The term is also used pejoratively to describe music whose composer, thought to be lacking originality, appears to have freely drawn on other models (Kennedy and Bourne 2006). This word can also be used to describe the music of composers who combine multiple styles, such as using a whole-tone variant of a pentatonic folksong over chromatic counterpoint, or a tertian arpeggiating melody over quartal or secundal harmonies. Eclecticism can also be through quotations, whether of a style (e.g., Shostakovich: Symphony No. 9), direct quotations of folksongs/variations of them (e.g., Mahler: Symphony No. 1; II and III) or direct quotations of other composers (e.g., Berio: Sinfonia; III) (Cope 1997, 230–33).Gdańska Street in Bydgoszcz
Gdańska Street is one of the main street of downtown Bydgoszcz, Poland. Initially, the street was a thoroughfare, but in the second half of the 19th century, it turned residential. It ran from the Brda river to Bydgoszcz northern part of town an has gradually become the city center of trade and entertainment. During the interwar period, Gdańska street was the third longest street in Bydgoszcz with a total length of 3.19 km.The street connects the Old Town with the northern areas of Bydgoszcz agglomeration. The southern part is the real "spinal column" of Bydgoszcz downtown and the most architecturally representative, while the northern part - from the Municipal Stadium to the northern boundaries of the city- is bordered by Forest Park of Culture and Leisure and the Gdańsk Forest. Rich architecturally, Gdańska Street has got many buildings listed on the Kuyavian-Pomeranian Voivodeship Heritage list.Ghettotech
Ghettotech (also known as Detroit club) is a genre of electronic music originating from Detroit. It combines elements of Chicago's ghetto house with electro, Detroit techno, Miami bass and UK garage. It features four-on-the-floor rhythms and is usually faster than most other dance music genres, at roughly 145 to 160 BPM. As with ghetto house, vocals are often repetitive and sometimes pornographic. As DJ Godfather puts it, "the beats are really gritty, really raw, nothing polished."Ghettotech was born as a DJing style, inspired by the eclecticism of The Electrifying Mojo and the fast-paced mixing and turntablism of The Wizard, with DJs mixing genres including jungle, ghetto house, hip hop, R&B, electro and Detroit techno. The general BPM of the music's mixing style increases over time.
A Detroit ghettotech style of dancing is called the jit. This dance style relies heavily on fast footwork combinations, drops, spins and improvisations. The roots of jit date back to Detroit Jitterbugs in the 1970s. Chicago's equivalent dance style is Juke, where the focus is on footwork dating back to the late 1980s.Ghettotech was an integral part of the Detroit Electronic Music Festival, an annual event.
Ghettotech saw a decline around 2007 as some key artists distanced themselves from the genre. In recent years however the surge in popularity of Ghettotech's sister genre Chicago footwork, has helped to spawn a new listener base. Ghettotech's newest wave of producers often produce tracks at 160 BPM to better accommodate mixing with Chicago footwork and other genres.Hellenistic philosophy
Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy that was developed in the Hellenistic period following Aristotle and ending with the beginning of Neoplatonism.Hybrid martial arts
Hybrid martial arts, also known as hybrid fighting systems or sometimes eclectic martial arts or freestyle fighting, refer to martial arts or fighting systems that incorporate techniques and theories from several particular martial arts (eclecticism). While numerous martial arts borrow or adapt from other arts and to some extent could be considered hybrids, a hybrid martial art emphasizes its disparate origins.
The idea of hybridization or "mixing" of martial arts traditions originates in the 19th to early 20th century, when Asian traditions first came to the attention of European practitioners.
The concept rose to wide popularity during the 1960s and 1970s, with the development of Bruce Lee's Jeet Kune Do (1967) that uses aspects derived from various arts including Wing Chun and Western boxing; Kajukenbo (1947) which combines Karate, Judo/Jujitsu, Kenpo and Western Boxing; modern kickboxing styles that incorporate elements of Karate, Muay Thai and Western boxing, Krav Maga, an Israeli military combat and self-defense fighting system incorporating Western boxing, Muay Thai, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, and grappling; and Combat Sambo, russian combat system incorporating the next martial arts: Savate, Judo, Karate, Jiu jitsu, Kung Fu, Greek Wrestling, Georgian Chidaoba, Armenian Koch, Kurash, Böth, Alysh, Trînta.Integrative psychotherapy
Integrative psychotherapy is the integration of elements from different schools of psychotherapy in the treatment of a client. Integrative psychotherapy may also refer to the psychotherapeutic process of integrating the personality: uniting the "affective, cognitive, behavioral, and physiological systems within a person".Neomodern
Neomodern or neomodernist art is a reaction to the complexity of postmodern architecture and eclecticism, seeking greater simplicity.Pastiche
A pastiche is a work of visual art, literature, theatre, or music that imitates the style or character of the work of one or more other artists. Unlike parody, pastiche celebrates, rather than mocks, the work it imitates.The word pastiche is a French cognate of the Italian noun pasticcio, which is a pâté or pie-filling mixed from diverse ingredients. Metaphorically, pastiche and pasticcio describe works that are either composed by several authors, or that incorporate stylistic elements of other artists' work. Pastiche is an example of eclecticism in art.
Allusion is not pastiche. A literary allusion may refer to another work, but it does not reiterate it. Moreover, allusion requires the audience to share in the author's cultural knowledge. Both allusion and pastiche are mechanisms of intertextuality.Progressive music
Progressive music is music that attempts to expand existing stylistic boundaries associated with specific genres of music. The word comes from the basic concept of "progress", which refers to development and growth by accumulation, and is often deployed in the context of distinct genres such as progressive country, progressive folk, progressive jazz, and (most significantly) progressive rock. Music that is deemed "progressive" usually synthesizes influences from various cultural domains, such as European art music, Celtic folk, West Indian, or African. It is rooted in the idea of a cultural alternative and may also be associated with auteur-stars and concept albums, considered traditional structures of the music industry.As an art theory, the progressive approach falls between formalism and eclecticism. "Formalism" refers to a preoccupation with established external compositional systems, structural unity, and the autonomy of individual art works. Like formalism, "eclecticism" connotates a predilection toward style synthesis or integration. However, contrary to formalist tendencies, eclecticism foregrounds discontinuities between historical and contemporary styles and electronic media, sometimes referring simultaneously to vastly different musical genres, idioms, and cultural codes. In marketing, "progressive" is used to distinguish a product from "commercial" pop music.Russian neoclassical revival
Russian neoclassical revival was a trend in Russian culture, most pronounced in architecture, that briefly replaced eclecticism and Art Nouveau as the leading architectural style between the Revolution of 1905 and the outbreak of World War I, coexisting with the Silver Age of Russian Poetry. It is characterized by a merger of new technologies (steel frame and reinforced concrete) with a moderate application of classical orders and the legacy of the Russian Empire style of the first quarter of the 19th century.
The neoclassical revival school was most active in Saint Petersburg, and less active in Moscow and other cities. The style was a common choice for luxurious country estates, as well as upper-class apartment blocks and office buildings. However, it was practically non-existent in church and government architecture. Neoclassical architects born in the 1870s, who reached their peak activity in 1905–1914 (Ivan Fomin, Vladimir Shchuko, Ivan Zholtovsky), later became leading figures in the Stalinist architecture of the 1930s and shaped the Soviet architectural education system.Spanish Eclecticism
Spanish Eclecticism was a movement among Spanish painters from 1845 to 1890. It was named after the tendency by artists to select from among multiple established styles of that era. A sensibility of relative renewal dominated the rest of Europe, while in Spain, Realism and Impressionism were slow to take hold. The movement is also said to be associated with the idea that models and innovations had run their course.Stile umbertino
The stile umbertino is the name commonly given to a 19th-century style of Renaissance Revival architecture in Italy. It is a style which is typical of the eclecticism of late 19th century architecture and decorative arts in Europe . It is characterized by its eclecticism, because of the mix of decorative elements from the past.
It flourished during the reign of king Umberto I of Italy, after whom it was named, and it was most popular in Rome.Syncretism
Syncretism () is the combining of different beliefs, while blending practices of various schools of thought. Syncretism involves the merging or assimilation of several originally discrete traditions, especially in the theology and mythology of religion, thus asserting an underlying unity and allowing for an inclusive approach to other faiths. Syncretism also occurs commonly in expressions of arts and culture (known as eclecticism) as well as politics (syncretic politics).Textual criticism
Textual criticism is a branch of textual scholarship, philology, and literary criticism that is concerned with the identification of textual variants in either manuscripts or printed books. Scribes can make alterations when copying manuscripts by hand. Given a manuscript copy, several or many copies, but not the original document, the textual critic might seek to reconstruct the original text (urtext, archetype or autograph) as closely as possible. The same processes can be used to attempt to reconstruct intermediate versions, or recensions, of a document's transcription history. The objective of the textual critic's work is a better understanding of the creation and historical transmission of texts. This understanding may lead to the production of a "critical edition" containing a scholarly curated text.
There are many approaches to textual criticism, notably eclecticism, stemmatics, and copy-text editing. Quantitative techniques are also used to determine the relationships between witnesses to a text, with methods from evolutionary biology (phylogenetics) appearing effective on a range of traditions.
In some domains (religious and classical text editing) the phrase "lower criticism" is used to describe the contrast between textual criticism and "higher criticism", which is the endeavor to establish the authorship, date, and place of composition of the original text.