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Cultural-Historical Psychology

Publisher: Moscow State University of Psychology and Education

ISSN (printed version): 1816-5435

ISSN (online): 2224-8935

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Started in 2005

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Open Access Journal

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Subjective Ontology and the Individual’s Lifeworld

Sapogova E.E., Doctor in Psychology, Professor of the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Moscow, Russia, esapogova@yandex.ru
Abstract
The author proposes an interpretation of the core role of subjective ontology in the formation of the individual’s lifeworld. It is shown that the actual implementation of the life journey obliges the person to think ontologically, explaining to oneself, basing on the accumulated experience, how the reality is arranged, and building a version of the causes and consequences of his own existence in it. Solving the tasks of self-development and constructing personal life stories, the individual relies upon some ultimate ontologemes (‘fate’, ‘fortuity’, ‘free will’), each of which generates different foci of interpretation of self-experience and defines the individual semantics of possible life events: if the ontology of free will dominates, then self-interpretation is built primarily as an explanation of human deeds; if the person believes in the predetermination of everything by fate, then life fulfillment would be in the focus of his/her consciousness; if everything is dominated by the fortuity, then life is perceived as a set of unpredictable incidents. The assimilated ultimate ontologemes stimulate the prevalence in self-interpretation of one of the mental processes (belief, thinking, intuition) and thus set three possible frames for the interpretation of the life path: fate — fulfillment — belief; fortuity — incident — intuition; free will — deed — thinking. The lifeworld is represented as a pyramid whose top is formed by subjective ontology that performs a system-forming function in relation to it, and its facets are its epistemological, axiological, praxeological and symbolic dimensions.

Keywords: subjective ontology, ontologeme, lifeworld

Column: From psychological theory to practice and back

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.17759/chp.2019150104

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