Philosophy vs Psychology – Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology

By BYJU'S Exam Prep

Updated on: November 14th, 2023

The difference between philosophy and psychology is that philosophy studies how to think about something correctly. Psychology studies how the mind works and how that reflects in behaviour, or why we act or think the way we do. Both philosophy and psychology provide different learning and are used to solve different life problems.

Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology PDF

Humans have developed several streams of learning about the world around us. Education has played an important role in understanding different streams of study. Two streams of studies that are often confused are philosophy and psychology. Here we have provided the Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology.

Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology

Philosophy and psychology are two interconnected streams that try to find solutions to interlinked questions. The difference between philosophy and psychology is that philosophy deals with studying knowledge about several larger-than-life questions, whereas psychology deals with understanding people’s minds and behaviours.

Philosophy vs Psychology

Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology





The origin of philosophy began with the thoughts of Pythagoras and Socrates from 384 to 428 BC.

The origins of psychology can be traced to 400-500 BC.


Philosophy aims to think about thinking and refers to a love for wisdom.

The stream of psychology aims at studying the soul.


Socrates is the father of philosophy.

Wilhelm Wundt, a German scientist, started the study of psychology while conducting behavioural studies.


Non-empirical methods are used in the stream.

Empirical and statistical procedures are used in the stream.

Premise of Study

The central premise of philosophy is to know “what if?”.

The central premise of the study of psychology is to find the answer to behaviours and the mind and to ask the question, “why?”.

Philosophy and Psychology

There is a Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology based on origins. Origins of philosophy date back to when historians tried to seek answers and made efforts to understand how people try to find the answers to questions about finding solutions about truth, God, values, existence, and knowledge.

  • Several historical figures like Aristotle, Plato, Marx, and Hume are known for their work in philosophy from 384 to 428 BC.
  • Psychology is a comparatively new stream of science and has origins that date back to 400 to 500 BC.

Methods Used in Philosophy and Psychology

Although both streams of studies combine sub-disciplines and work together at times, there is a Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology in terms of methods and procedures.

  • Philosophy deals with the study of thinking and understanding right and wrong. It asks questions about wisdom, God, and spirituality. It uses non-empirical methods for seeking the answers. This stream of science deals with solving and finding solutions to confusion.
  • On the other hand, psychology uses statistical, rational scientific methods and experiments to support its study. This stream of study does not rely on assumptions and strongly depends on the data.

What is Philosophy?

Philosophy refers to the love of wisdom. Under the stream of philosophy, individuals seek to understand the truth about themselves, the people around them, and their relationships.

  • The stream of philosophy engages people in asking, answering, contemplating, and arguing to get wise answers to basic questions of life.
  • The relationship between a person and the Supreme Being, who is credited with creating life in this universe, is another topic covered by philosophy.
  • It explores the metaphysical side of nature and explores life beyond death.

What is Psychology?

Psychology refers to the study of people’s minds and behaviours. The discipline includes several subordinate fields of study, including social behaviour, human development, sports, and cognitive processes.

  • Psychology is the branch of knowledge that investigates how people think and behave.
  • It so addresses the mind and its changes.
  • A psychologist tries to comprehend how the mind plays a role in social conduct.
  • The neurological mechanisms that control mental behaviour are also examined.

Similarities Between Philosophy and Psychology

The similarities between philosophy and psychology are given below.

  • Psychology evolved from philosophy in that it began to use empirical techniques to answer philosophically-posed questions.
  • Sensation, perception, intelligence, and memory are commonalities in philosophy and psychology.
  • Both psychology and philosophy aim to comprehend people, their outlooks, and their inner selves, as well as how they take in and interpret information from their senses and respond.
  • Psychology receives a general understanding of the human being from philosophy. Philosophy and psychology exchange concepts and hypotheses and support one another.
  • Philosophy and psychology are related through the relative hypothesis of the mind, its study, and the overarching principles of scientific inquiry.


Philosophy vs Psychology – Key Differences

The key Difference Between Philosophy and Psychology is that Philosophy aims to judge thought and refers to a passion for understanding with its origin between 384-428 BC, whereas Psychology strives to examine nature and the soul with its origin between 400-500 BC.

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