Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology

Philosophy vs Psychology

 

People tend to confuse the terms philosophy and psychology, even though there are differences between them and should be viewed as two different branches of knowledge. It is interesting to note that both are classified as ordinary arts. Philosophy deals with the study of the nature of life and life hereafter. On the other hand, Psychology deals with the study of the mind and its behavior. This is the main difference between Philosophy and Psychology. This article attempts to highlight the differences between the two disciplines of psychology and philosophy while providing an understanding of each branch of knowledge.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy can be defined as the field of study that deals with the nature of life and life hereafter. A philosopher explores the various possibilities of establishing the truth about the origin of the universe and the nature of the soul. There are various schools of philosophy. Eastern philosophy and Western philosophy are two such variations. Eastern philosophy is different from the Western philosophy. Philosophical thoughts center on the mysteries of life and the reality of the soul. The individual soul is considered eternal according to some schools of thought. According to the other schools of philosophical thought, soul does not exist at all. It is interesting to note that philosophy also deals with the theory of causation. It deals with the instrumental cause for the creation of the universe and the life in it. As a matter of fact, each system of philosophy differs in its approach when it deals with the theory of causation. Philosophy also deals with the relationship of man to the Almighty and the supreme force responsible for the creation of life in this universe. It studies with the metaphysical aspect of nature and probes into the life after death. Now let us pay attention to the field of psychology.

Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology- Philosophy

What is Psychology?

Psychology can be defined as the field of study that explores the human behavior and mental processes. Thus, it deals with the mind and its transformations. A psychologist attempts to understand the functions of the mind in social behavior. It also explores the neurobiological processes that guide mental behaviors. Psychology helps in the establishment of various philosophical truths by way of logical conclusions. It involves logical acumen. However, it has to be mentioned that psychology has its roots in philosophy as well. When speaking of psychology, mainly there are a number of schools of thought. Structuralism, Behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, Psychoanalysis, Humanistic school of thought can be identified as some of the famous schools of thought. In each school, a new outlook, to understanding the human mind and behavior, is presented. For an example, in Psychoanalysis Sigmund Freud emphasizes the significance of the unconscious in altering human behavior. On the other hand, Behaviorists completely ignore the significance of the mind and pay attention to human behavior. They believe that behavior is more important since it can be observed. Psychology is a developing field of study and has a number of branches, catering to all aspects of the human life. For an example, developmental psychology studies the growth of individuals, whereas educational psychology studies the learning related activities of individuals. There are many more sub disciplines such as social psychology, cognitive psychology, abnormal psychology, organizational psychology, etc.. Now let us summarize the difference in the following manner.

Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology- Psychology

What is the Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology?

  • Philosophy deals with the study of the nature of life and life hereafter whereas Psychology deals with the study of the mind and its behavior.
  • A psychologist attempts to understand the role of the functions of the mind in social behavior and explore the neurobiological processes that guide mental behaviors. A philosopher, on the other hand, explores the various possibilities of establishing the truth about the origin of the universe and the nature of the soul.
  • Philosophy deals with the relationship of man to the Almighty and the supreme force responsible for the creation of life in this universe. It deals with the metaphysical aspect of nature and probes into the life after death.
  • Psychology, on the other hand, helps in the establishment of various philosophical truths by way of logical conclusions.

Image Courtesy:

1.”Greek philosopher busts” by Matt Neale from UK [CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

2.”Phrenology” by Davidmbusto – Own work. [CC BY 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons