Potamo of Alexandria and the Emergence of Eclecticism in Late Hellenistic Philosophy

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Eclecticism is a concept widely used in the history of ancient philosophy to describe the intellectual stance of diverse thinkers such as Plutarch, Cicero and Seneca. In this book the historical and interpretative problems associated with eclecticism are for the first time approached from the point of view of the only self-described eclectic philosopher from Antiquity, Potamo of Alexandria. The evidence is examined in detail with reference to the philosophical and wider intellectual background of the period. Potamo's views are placed in the context of key debates at the forefront of late Hellenistic philosophical activity to which he contributed, such as the criterion of truth, the first principles in physics, the moral end and the interpretation of Aristotle's esoteric works. The emergence of eclecticism is thus treated in connection with the major shift in philosophical interests and methods that marked the passage from Hellenistic to Imperial philosophy.