This word is now in almost daily use, and is found on the title page of many works professing to havefortheii aim the advancement of true knowledge and civilization. It is do-rived from a Greek word which was applied to a school of philosophers who endeavored to select from the systems of various schools those doctrines which alone are true, and to present them in the form of an entire whole, calling them eclectic principles. Pluto and Aristotle may be said to have been eclectic in their views, but the chief of ancient eclectics lived under tho Roman empire, the most celebrated of them being Epic-tetus, who lived in the year 60, A. D., and Plutarch, who wrote a series of biographies of great men. The most striking example of a philosopher of this school in later days is M. Victor Cousin, a French professor of the mental sciences. At the present day, when physical science has made such vast strides in the onward march of truth, it has been necessary for eclecticism to step in and act as a kind of check to prevent us from rushing into false theorizing and wild speculation ; and in no branch is this more necessary than in medicine, where every new quackery which starts up around us finds some believers. It is therefore requisite for the well-being of the body, that calm and cautious men should examine the facts supporting the system thoroughly, so that any grains of truth there may be in it may be used for the good of the world, and all the chaff may be blown to tho winds.
This article was originally published with the title "Eclectic"