Most people who work in some aspects of philosophy have experienced trying to explain to someone that philosophy is not a psychology. For members of the philosophical group, distinction may seem obvious, but any attempt to find out requires careful thinking and thinking that I'm trying to do.

Is psychology the brother of philosophy? Certainly in the past they were close brothers, the same family members, philosophy. Today, the relationship between the two is much more problematic. Is the work of philosophy related to the student's psychological state? The answer is also unclear. Philosophy can help psychologically in man, but this does not play a central role in the function of philosophy.


Historically, in Western philosophy, psychology belonged to philosophy until the 19th century when it became a separate science. In the 17th and 18th centuries, many Western philosophers performed pioneering work in areas that are later known as "psychology". Finally, psychological research and research became separate disciplines, some of which were characterized by the study and research of the mind. In short, psychology is the science of consciousness that seeks to analyze and explain mental processes: our thoughts, experiences, feelings, feelings, perception, imagination, creativity, dreams, etc. This is mostly empirical and experimental science; although the field of psychology includes the more theoretical Freudian psychology and speculative Jungian psychology.

In the study of Western philosophy we find concentrated efforts to maintain the distinction between philosophical and psychological considerations. But these were not always isolated. Even today some areas of philosophy are mixed with psychological considerations. Certain forms of philosophy may never be completely removed from psychological issues.


Traditionally, philosophers have not always observed separation between philosophy and psychology in Western traditions. For example, Baruch Spinoza's Great Work Ethics contains many observations and cognitions of our reasoning processes and feelings. The early works of such thinkers, such as Rene Descartes, John Locke, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant's epistemology (knowledge theory), contain many observations and allegations of mental processes related to knowledge and belief. In other words, these writings confuse psychological claims (knowledge process) with conceptual philosophy.

There are, however, differences between psychology and philosophy, which are significant and need to be thoroughly observed in both areas. In the critique of our epistemological works 17 and 18, the separation of the philosophical theme (logic, conceptual and proposal evaluation) from a psychological point of view (the causes of faith, the mental process of perception principles). The work of the brain and the understanding and explanation of the neurological processes underlying the brain and thinking and experience (eg Psychology) differ from the philosophical examination of consciousness, consciousness, knowledge and experience. Edmund Husserl, the founder of phenomenology, feels great pain in separating his philosophy from empirical psychology. But it is not clear that the analysis of the phenomenology of different experiences (or other analyzes) remains something that is clearly different from psychology.

But most of the problem persists, especially in such areas of mind philosophy, philosophical completely mental psychology. Moreover, we should not assume that they should be separated in each case, as some in philosophical work necessarily require the consideration of psychological sciences.

Even today the student is likely to be surprised by the number of Spinoza psychological knowledge, this great work, the XVII. century and similar psychological observations of Friedrich Nietzsche in the 19th century. William James, the great American pragmatist, has many philosophical psychology. There are many things to say about the flow of knowledge and special experiences, such as religious experiences.

Current Concerns:

The philosophy of the mind: There is a sense in which the mind is a psychological construct; there is another meaning in which it is not. "My soul is such and such" can be repeated as "my thoughts such and such." Sometimes this psychology is behind my thought; but at other times he is interested in what can be termed conceptual questions; and at other times we would be more interested in the literary-artistic expression of ideas, values ​​and perspectives. (In the latter context, see Walter Kaufmann's book, Discovering Consciousness

In epistemology we deal with the notion of knowledge, but our primary interest is not to describe the psychology of knowledge. Bertrand Russell, DW Hamlyn and Richard Rorty

In the field of academic philosophy, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of science, the philosophy of science and the philosophy of science, theories of consciousness, language philosophy, Descartes-idealism, and free will have been extended to science-science disciplines, which are usually not considered to be psychological forms of inquiry, but rather to the conceptual and propositional questions among philosophers who are in this science, language, and mind lean Ludwig Wittgenstein, Gilbert Ryle, D.W. Hamlyn, John Austin, and Daniel Dennett

But psychology is a part of philosophical studies of such special experiences as the religious experience, the mystical experience and even the moral experience. The good representative of this approach is the great American pragmatist, William James. Most of his work in philosophy is not far from psychological interests.

Some aspects of philosophy deal with the nature of human thinking. This interest differs from psychological studies, descriptions, and theories. But to be appropriate and credible, it must take into account the work of psychologists and cognitive scientists. The topic of human thinking is a big topic that can be approached from different directions. One such philosophy; the other is psychology and cognitive sciences. Yet others: literary art, fine art and history.

Suppose I ask Spinoza's idea about the moral obligation; how does it protect the item that morality and rationality are intimately intertwined? As a student of philosophy, my interests can be strictly philosophical. I would like to know how to develop and protect your philosophical thesis. On the other hand, you may be interested in the causes of Spinoza's thinking; or maybe they are interested in possible motives that could have led to the acceptance of their own philosophy. What childhood or family life events did it make him to embrace the values ​​and ideas of geometrical method and rationality? In the latter case, I would act as an amateur, folk psychologist.

There are various ways to try thinking of a person, for example. a writer or a philosopher. We take a way to ask the causes and motivations of the causes; that is, ask about psychological "work". Another way is to make philosophical criticism and appreciate the ideas of man. But the two (psychology and philosophy) can be combined in a single study

Philosophy and Individual Psychological Well-Being:

Another way of interaction between psychology and philosophy is personal level. Does the person's meditation on philosophical questions (or brings them closer to) some degree of psychological harmony? Insofar as philosophical work and thought contribute to the well-being and fulfillment of man, we can say that philosophy is a form of therapy. Is there a way in which philosophy can be therapeutic?

If the life you are looking at is not worth living (Socrates), it may come as a result of life under investigation ("philosophical life"). This suggests that philosophical thinking results in one form of personal fulfillment and good psychological health

In contrast, we have the opinion (mainly the dominant view) that philosophy is a spiritual discipline that has little or no relation to anyone others are trying to achieve some kind of personal, psychological fulfillment. Add to this the fact that most people who work in philosophy (eg, scientific philosophers or professors of philosophy) are not particularly remarkable in the life of psychic well-being. In this regard, think of people like Blaise Pascal, S. Kierkegaard, F. Nietzsche, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. What were psychologically healthy and balanced? They are emotionally and mentally angry and will not be mentioned as a psychic calm and a feeling of well-being. In addition, some philosophers are encouraged to engage in philosophy, just as artists, poets, and composers are encouraged to address their creative work. There is a kind of psychological constraint that does not seem to be a therapeutic form. In fact, some philosophies are also referred to as the type of disease.

Closing Thoughts:

A student of philosophy is generally not a psychologist, but nothing says that a student can not continue as a psychologist. I imagine situations where we try to make our thoughts and values ​​clear; and we try to be honest about our motivations for what we do. People say in the 1960's: only "trying to reach my head".

Suppose a psychologist can tell about his causes, mental processes, and hidden intentions that are my way of thinking. You can say that in order to really understand what I'm talking about, I have to understand these "psychological" things; that is, I must know and have to do them. If I would accept my advice and try to do these things, would you go along with the Syriac Maximus to "get to know yourself"?

An expert seeks empirical, descriptive psychology and neurological and psychological processes. But we recommend a form of amateurs, especially folk psychology: I try to tell what I think of my own thinking. Or I'm trying to cope better with my soul life. Sometimes I use this "folk psychology" (I'm trying to figure out what I'm talking about) or others (I try to understand their motives, say it and say it or so).

On another practical level, one can imagine someone asking: "What do I want in life? How do I get there?" Can philosophy help us here? It may not be, but then again in our Western Philosophy, Socrates and Spinoza, we are thinking of two great forms. They often refer to the pattern of psychological harmony and wisdom. Finally, we are not all psychologists, even those who are chained into philosophy? Yes, we are to some extent "psychologists", if we are awake, alert, conscientious and honestly speak for self-examination. This should not be separated from the work done in philosophy.

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