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What is The Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology?

This article deals a bit about the difference between philosophy and psychology. How they are different, similar, and what aspect?

What is the difference between philosophy and psychology?

Two years back, one of my students in philosophy class asked me, “What is the difference between philosophy and psychology? I am confused on how to draw the boundary between them; I can only see their difference by name, otherwise I don’t know the elements or concepts that make them different.’’


I have never thought about their difference before that question; I used to take them as they are; philosophy as philosophy and psychology as psychology without thinking what similarities and difference they possess.  But, I thank to my student because he brought into my consciousness a new perspective of thinking through his philosophical question. Since then I have tried to work out what is their difference and similarities between them.


To begin with, philosophy and psychology are two big disciplines which are hard to clearly demarcate the boundary between them. The boundary between them yet remains unclear and undetermined. However, they are both derived or born from the same language pool, the so-called Greek language.  Linguistically, they belong to the same language pool. Greek language is their mom language. Hence, they are the offspring of it.


 Philosophy in Greek word means ‘love of wisdom’ whereas psychology is the science of mind or soul; psyche meaning ‘soul’ or mind.’ Besides, psychology is born from the combination of philosophy and biology. It has the characteristics of the two disciplines in combination. But as to my best knowledge and understanding I assume that psychology is inclined or closer to biology than philosophy. But we have to keep in mind that philosophy is the mother of all subjects or disciplines. Every subject, be it social and natural science is born from the womb of philosophy.  Philosophy was encompassing and hugging all disciplines under it, and with the progress of time they have become independent on their own principles and theories.  But the foundation of the disciplines or subjects still remains in the root of philosophy. Philosophy is the grass-root.


Philosophy is as old as human history and experience. Its birth dates back to creation of human being. There was no an era or century without philosophy, but psychology came into existence as a subject during the times of Greek philosophers, particularly Plato and Aristotle. But as an official subject it renowned in Germany by Wilhelm Wundt in 1879.  It is so young in comparison to the birth of philosophy. Philosophy was not started in Greek; it was started long time in India and China; but it took its final form or shape by the help of Greek thinkers and philosophers. Therefore, I can say that philosophy is the forefather of psychology. Philosophy is the supreme over any other discipline; it is an independent field which tries to explain the existence and nature of universe through reason.

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