If in a previous article we have reviewed some differences between psychology and philosophy, in this one we will see the points where the two disciplines are deeply linked.
I propose seven things in common between the two, Although it is very possible that there are more.
Similarities Between Psychology and Philosophy
So let’s start: how are the two disciplines alike?
1. They share their roots
Psychology has its origins in a thousand-year-old tradition of philosophers and thinkers. In fact, the word “psychology” means soul studyA bit of what the ancient Greek philosophers were in charge of back then. Aristotle, for example, devotes to his concept of what psychology is a whole treatise, the Peri Psyche.
Therefore, psychology was a branch of philosophy for centuriesUntil the concept of “soul” was redefined, which was an idea related to mysticism, to transform it into theoretical constructs accessible from scientific methodology.
2. They share a certain speculative character
Philosophy cannot be understood without the speculationIn other words, the creation of theoretical constructions not empirically tested by science which allow the contradictions to be resolved. For example, Descartes proposed a theory that the body and the soul are part of two different planes of existence to explain why sensations can mislead us.
Likewise, much of the history of recent psychology includes the creation of new theories about how we think and feel which, in the absence of much evidence to support them, have been dismissed or are used to formulate assumptions and seek empirical support through them.
3. They share study topics
the two disciplines they address issues such as perceptions and sensations, Memory and intelligence, the nature of the conscious mind, will and relationships with others, although they use different languages and methodologies in their research.
4. They share the problem of the body-mind relationship
Historically, philosophers have been charged with offering synthetic theories and explanations on the distinction between body and soul and, indeed, on the conflict between the monism and the dualism which characterized thinkers like Avicenna or Descartes. Psychology inherited this debate and immersed itself in it using new methodologies.
5. Philosophy lends categories of psychology to work with
Traditionally, psychology has worked on notions and concepts inherited from philosophy. For example, the philosophical tradition of drawing first makes psychologists think of man (or rather man) as a rational animal with great voluntary control over the emergence of feelings and moods, although this is a way of conceiving our species that psychoanalysts and later neuroscientists have been confronted with.
Likewise, the category of what is “will” has been obscured by a certain mysticism, as if the human brain receives orders from a control center whose whereabouts are not very clear. It is the fruit of a dualist philosophical tradition.
6. Philosophy is also nourished by psychology
As some of the objects of study of psychology and philosophy are so similar, philosophy is also capable of “translating” psychological discoveries and pass them on to the field of study. An interdependent relationship between philosophy and psychology is thus established. The philosophical side of embodied cognition, for example, still has a foothold in the latest research on the feedback process between the brain and the rest of the body. Likewise, the philosophy of mind is constantly updated with the findings of psychologists and neuroscientists.
7. Both can have therapeutic goals
Many great philosophers believed that the ultimate goal of philosophy is do good to human beingsEither by bringing it closer to the truth and allowing intellectual emancipation, or by helping to realize the thoughts and moods necessary to face life in the best possible way. The Stoics and the thinkers of the Epicurean school are classic examples of such philosophers.
As for psychology, its therapeutic application is well known. In fact, there is a stereotype that the sole purpose of psychologists is to provide therapy. Even if this is not the case, it is clear that knowing the logics that govern the appearance of thoughts and affective states is a great advantage when it comes to stopping certain mental and emotional problems.