Psyche vs mind

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Stylistics

New Member
New Zealand - English
I'm having trouble figuring out the difference. Are they interchangeable? Is psyche just a pretentious way of referring to the mind? Is psyche a part of the mind? Are they seperate?

While I'm new and here: is spirit and soul the same thing? Are they also interchangeable, or different? I prefer soul either way (the sound has a lot of soul, hehe).
 
  • entangledbank

    Senior Member
    English - South-East England
    You would have to go to the particular writer, psychologist, or religion and ask them what they mean by those things. 'Mind' has a fairly clear meaning as the ordinary mental processes of people, such as thought and memory and preferences, but I don't know any general meaning in English of the other three words, except that some religions believe something resembling a human survives their death, and they use one of the words for that: sort of mind, but not exactly the same. Somehow.
     

    Juhasz

    Senior Member
    English - United States
    I agree with entabgledbank. All of those words are synonymous in certain contexts, but other contexts require one particular word. Psyche, for instance, has specific meaning in a psychoanalytic context.

    For one specific example, here's Jung: "I have been compelled, in my investigations into the structure of the unconscious, to make a conceptual distinction between soul and psyche. By psyche, I understand the totality of all psychic processes, conscious as well as unconscious. By soul, on the other hand, I understand a clearly demarcated functional complex that can best be described as a 'personality'." (Jung, 1971: Def. 48 par. 797)
     

    Stylistics

    New Member
    New Zealand - English
    I think you're both right. I have a pretty clesr understanding of mind and spirit, but not the other two. In terms of psychology, does anyone know and/or can clearly explain the difference between the two (if any?)

    Edit: isnt psychic, by definition, relating to the mind? So aren't all psychic processes within the mind? Or is there something more than that that I'm missing? (I'm no expert).
     
    Last edited:

    yoshi_s_island

    Senior Member
    Italian
    I'm having trouble figuring out the difference. Are they interchangeable? Is psyche just a pretentious way of referring to the mind? Is psyche a part of the mind? Are they seperate?

    While I'm new and here: is spirit and soul the same thing? Are they also interchangeable, or different? I prefer soul either way (the sound has a lot of soul, hehe).
    Mind has several meanings, and one of them is the same as the only one meaning of psyche.
    This, and not a drive for pretentiousness, is why a sufficiently learned writer may opt for psyche.

    Many psychologists or scientists dealing with relevant topics will use psyche.
     

    Stylistics

    New Member
    New Zealand - English
    Interesting that you say that as I hear 'psyche' being thrown around in classrooms, which, mind you, are not even psychology classes. I assume people are just trying to say 'mind' in a fancier way. Pronouncing psyche doesn't sound nice, at least to me, so unless there is a clear, distinguishable difference (in whatever context) then I think it is just being pretentious (for lack of a better word).
     
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