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Eclecticism is the method of a group of ancient philosophers who tried to select from the existing philosophical beliefs those doctrines that seemed most reasonable to them. Out of this collected material they constructed their new system of philosophy.

Well known Eclectics in Greek philosophy were the Stoics, Panaetius and Posidonius, and the New Academics, Carnaedes and Philo of Larissa. Among the Romans, Cicero was thoroughly eclectic, as he united the Peripatetic, Stoic, and New Academic doctrines. Further eclectics were Varro and Seneca.

See also Eclecticism in art