In order to effectively study something, we must name it. The name must be accessible, pronounceable and logical. For example, no one would talk about “the stuff of our imaginations, our dreams, idiosyncrasies, habits and feelings.” Such a name would make study of the phenomena of human behavior impossible. Rather, we have adopted the more logical and concise term “Psychology” to describeourstudy of ourselves, defined as:
1: the science of mind and behavior
2a : the mental or behavioral characteristics of an individual or group b : the study of mind and behavior in relation to a particular field of knowledge or activity
3: a theory or system of psychology
The etymological history of the word “psychology” is a logical foundation for this definition:
1650s, “study of the soul,” probably coined mid-16c. in Germany by Melanchthon as Mod.L. psychologia, from Gk. psykhe- “breath, spirit, soul” (see psyche) + logia “study of” (see -logy). Meaning “study of the mind” first recorded 1748, from G. Wolff’s Psychologia empirica (1732); main modern behavioral sense is from 1895.
The word “psychology” is short, sweet, simple and to the point. Its definition and history are logical in creation and elegant in expression. It effectively enables the proper study of humanity’s behaviors.
Unfortunately, there is no similar word in commonly accepted existence to describe the study of individuals and money. This section aims to cure that lapse by creating such a word. That word is “finology.” Following the lead set by defining the word “psychology,” the appropriate definition of “finology” is:
from finance (n.) c.1400, “an end, settlement, retribution,” from M.Fr. finance “ending, settlement of a debt” (13c.), noun of action from finer “to end, settle a dispute or debt,” from fin (see fine (n.)). Cf. M.L. finis “a payment in settlement, fine or tax.” The notion is of “ending” (by satisfying) something that is due (cf. Gk. telos “end;” pl. tele “services due, dues exacted by the state, financial means.” The French senses gradually were brought into English: “ransom” (mid-15c.), “taxation” (late 15c.); the sense of “management of money” first recorded in English 1770+ -logia “study of” (see -logy).
The word works.
I believe it is noteworthy that the word “finance” has its origins in debt and one at a time transactions. It anticipates the notion that finance involves two or more individuals.
This word prepares the ground for a robust garden of knowledge. Tilling and harvesting that garden will help us practice the arts and crafts of finology. That, in turn will help how we, as human beings, relate to money and its awesome forces.