The purpose of this chapter is to confront an intrinsically difficult and pfte bypassed question: what is the meaning of the psyche? I approach the question with modest ambition. I do not expect togive a full answer; rather I hopeto revive and restore its legitimacy and perhaps move the discussion of it forward a bit. After all, the founders of our discipline were forced to answer the question because they were claiming to found a new science, and one can hardly make that claim without articulating, to some degree, what the new science is all about. The only trouble was that the founders of our discipline were forced to answer the question becuse they were claiming to found a new sciene, and one can hardly makethat claim without articulating,to some degree, what the new science is all about. The only trouble was that the founders of our discipline did not always agree on the subject matter, the approach to it, the methods to be employed, or even the value of the knowledge gained.
I am aware, of course , that the psyche, as the phenomenon to be explored by psychology, has been denied. The claim is made that the name represents an anachronism. Nevertheless, I do believe that the term has staying power and canotes a uniqueness not cintained in its competitors- consciousness, the unconscious, behaviour, and experience. Beteer yet, one way of responding to the challenge is toshow how the term psyche can incorporate each of the four competing terms. The deeper challenge is to be able to discern accurately and articulate well the specific unique connotations of the psyche.
Bentley, M. (1930). A psychology for psychologists. In C. Murchisin (Ed.), Psychologies of 1930 (pp.95-114). Worcester, MA : Clark University Press.