50 Real Clever Words for Psychology Students


Number #2 - Psyche



The original Greek word in Greek lettering is ψυχη

recommended pronunciation

The original Greek word in English lettering is psuche

The word as adopted into English is psyche

artificial psyche in the movies


Ancient Greek psychologists such as Aristotle used the word ψυχη for the life force within us, arguing that "the soul is connected with the body, and is inserted into it [..... and] it is by their partnership that the body acts and the soul is affected" (De Anima, 402b; Lawson-Tancred translation). The psyche is thus the central component of the mind, that is to say, that which stands between aesthesis [see Word #1] - the mind's input systems - and praxis [see Word #3] - the mind's output systems. The psyche deploys aesthesis to monitor the outside world, and praxis to manoeuvre itself within it. The science of the psyche is, of course, psychology, but it must be recognised that the subjective nature of much of the data available casts genuine doubt as to psychology's credentials as an objective science. There are also a large number of other useful derivative words ...

         psychodynamic, concerning theories of unconscious emotional influences upon behaviour.

         psychosis, a persistent and structured failure of the psyche to process reality.

         psychosomatic, the ability of unconscious mind states to create physical symptoms.

         psychokinesis, the (fictional) ability to make things move telepathically.

         psychotropic, an adjective describing a person's mental state OR drugs capable of changing same.

         psychedelic, a mind-revealing behaviour, and therefore drugs capable of eliciting same.


Firstly, because many of the problems set out in Aristotle's (ca. 350 BCE) De Anima have never been solved, and are as fresh today as they ever were. So using the original Greek terminology demonstrates a willingness to go back to basics and consider the big picture.

Secondly, because a thorough understanding of the biological psyche is required by those working on machine psyche, that is to say, in the sciences of robotics, AI, and AC [= artificial consciousness]. To see some typical employment opportunities simply browse <job opportunities in machine learning>.


To broaden your understanding of the word psyche, here are some of the many hundreds of links you might encounter once you start looking ...

         Encyclopaedia entry - check it out [go to Section G.2 and read entry (7)]

         Encyclopaedia entry - check it out [go to the entry for "soul"]

         Articles in the journal Psyche - check it out [a priceless online resource]

         History of the soul concept - check it out

         Does the self have a soul - check it out

         Do souls exist - check it out


50 Real Clever Words for Psychology Students


This material was written and published in Wales by Derek J. Smith (Chartered Engineer). It forms part of the Smithsrisca multifile e-learning resource, and subject only to acknowledging Derek J. Smith's rights under international copyright law to be identified as author may be freely downloaded and printed off in single complete copies solely for the purposes of private study and/or review. Commercial exploitation rights are reserved. The remote hyperlinks have been selected for the academic appropriacy of their contents; they were free of offensive and litigious content when selected, and will be periodically checked to have remained so. Copyright 2018, Derek J. Smith. [Homepage]