Difference Between Psychology and Philosophy

Though psychology and philosophy are two completely different subjects, people often have confusion or rather a misunderstanding regarding these two areas. But, the two fields have different solutions to any problem.

One might say that psychology came out as a result of philosophy and that is true to some extent too. But the perspective of the two fields varies a lot.

They do not agree with each other. For this reason, experts in each field often hold a grudge against each other. 

Psychology vs Philosophy

The difference between psychology and philosophy is that psychology deals with the various natures of human minds and philosophy deals with the nature of reality and knowledge. 

Psychology vs Philosophy

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonPsychologyPhilosophy
Greek wordsGreek words “psyche” and “logos” form the term psychology.Greek words “Philo” and “Sophia” coin the term philosophy. 
MeaningThe term psychology generally refers to the study of the soul.The term philosophy means love for wisdom. 
OriginPsychology is something that was born in laboratories. A German scientist Wilhelm Wundt was conducting some behavioral tests which gave birth to  this subject. Though Pythagoras was the first one who used the term philosophy, the father of philosophy is considered to be Socrates.
MethodsThe subject conducts its experiments and test through statistical or empirical methods.The subject conducts its assumptions through non-empirical methods. 
EmploymentPsychologists become teachers, counselors, and even therapists.Philosophists become researchers, speakers, and teachers.

What is Psychology?

Psychology is initially the study of the human mind and behavior. Though it was originally a branch of philosophy, it later came out as its own and uses various scientific methods to find out its answers.

Human behavior is complex, and for this reason, psychology uses various hypotheses and experiments to find out how it works. 

It uses calculations, statistics, and reason to defy its answers, and is quite helpful in the fields of mental health treatment too. How the human mind thinks and works is the main issue of this subject. 


What is Philosophy?

The subject, that deals with the various essence of the universe, reasoning, ideals, rights, and wrongs, is collectively termed as Philosophy. Understanding the human ways of life is a bit complex, and is not something that psychology alone can establish, and here is where philosophy comes into being.

It states the morals and ideals of one’s life. It also seeks the truth behind various reasons in this universe and does so after a lot of debates and assumptions.

It deals with the various ethics of human lives and states the difference between right and wrong. 


Main Differences Between Psychology and Philosophy

  1. Psychology deals with the various manifestations of the human mind. It studies and deals with how humans would behave in different social set-ups. It also sees the various reactions and ups and downs of a particular mind to various situations. On the other hand, philosophy deals with the various truths and the occurrences in the universe. It studies the origin and truth of the universal nature of mankind and living objects. 
  2. Psychology included various test methods to prove its theories right. It mainly starts with noticing human emotions, behaviors, thoughts, intelligence, and personality. It then concludes its test results on these various factors. It is almost like a branch of science and does not depend on concepts or assumptions. Philosophy initially includes critical analysis on topics, it then starts to question its cause and existence. Ultimately it depends on various concepts and debates to judge out a rule. 
  3. Psychology uses rational and scientific experiments to back up its opinions. It does not depend on assumptions and has a hypothesis and data to back up its rules. However, philosophical concepts can change as they are open to debates. It is not always the fact that philosophy has the right answers to every question as it is constantly scrutinized. 
  4. There are different branches of psychology that deals with different aspects. Clinical, Behavioral, Cognitive, Health, and Developmental Psychology are just to name a few. Metaphysics, Epistemology, Axiology, and Logic are the different branches of Philosophy.
  5. A psychologist tries to understand the various nitty-gritty of the human mind. He/she focuses on how the mind works and pledge their works to understand the complex human minds. However, a philosophist deals with the truth behind the entire universe. He/she debates and proves various factors behind universal truths and how things came into being. 
  6. Psychology is almost like studying philosophy but it deals with the truth behind the workings of minds. It is almost based on biology too, and the experiments are qualitative as well as quantitative. But, philosophy deals with a broader spectrum of life. It lives on the intellectual ups and downs of the universe. Its work is not limited to an individual. 
  7. Morality is a big factor when it comes to seeking the differences between the two subjects. Psychology depicts the right behavioral path. It shops the ideal way of how one should behave. Though it does promote different ethics and morals, it is not a part of psychology to understand what these different morals are. But, philosophy deals with both rights and wrongs. It teaches us what morals are and how they should be dealt with. It also shows us that mistakes are a part of everyday life. 
Difference Between Psychology and Philosophy



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