The Problem of the Meaning of Life: Philosophical and Psychological Content and Research Perspectives

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Abstract

The paper analyzes the problem of the meaning of life in a single conceptual framework grounded in philosophical/religious and psychological knowledge. It reveals the philosophical/religious and psychological con¬tent of the problem: the former is defined in terms of the meaning of life as a sign/symbolic unit of initial experience, while the latter — in terms of the ideal form of an event in personality development, which is considered an existential structure of personality represented in the form of affective and meaning constructs and initial symbols. The paper criticizes existing psychological studies on meanings of life for their basic error of conceptual substitution of the ideal object of research: the meaning of life as the ideal form is replaced with eudemonic attitude and regarded as the real form. The paper concludes that perspectives of psychological research into the meaning of life which would take into account its philosophical/religious content lie at the junction of explorations of the meaning of life and explorations of reflective activity of the subject of consciousness solving the task of finding the meaning.

General Information

Keywords: consciousness, meaning of life, initial experience, refection, meaning-making, real and ideal forms, finding meaning

Journal rubric: Discussions and Discourses

Article type: scientific article

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17759/chp.2015110209

For citation: Kubarev V.S. The Problem of the Meaning of Life: Philosophical and Psychological Content and Research Perspectives. Kul'turno-istoricheskaya psikhologiya = Cultural-Historical Psychology, 2015. Vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 86–99. DOI: 10.17759/chp.2015110209. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)

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Information About the Authors

Vyacheslav S. Kubarev, PhD in Psychology, Associate Professor of Psychology of Work and Organizational Psychology, Faculty of Humanities, Omsk State Technical University, Omsk, Russia, e-mail: kubiks@rambler.ru

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