Fortuity as Ontologeme of Autobiographic Narratives



Based on the author’s existential-narrative approach, the phenomenon of personal (subjective) ontology and the ways of the influence of the concepts of fate, fortuity and free will on the person’s comprehension and interpretation of one’s ownlife path are studied. An ontologeme is defined as a theoretical idea (ideologeme), originally assigned to individual thinking. The complex of ontologemes lies at the basis of social practices that have been established in culture and are being translated into socialization and inculturation. Ontologemes are not deduced personally by experience, they are not proved, but are perceived and accepted by a human as mental precedents for constructing a life-semantic reality. Any ontology contains in itself numerous implications, unfolding in the logic, ethics, subculture and “personal philosophy” of the subject depending on his existential experience, the content of typical situations and events that occur on his life path, the existing circumstances of existence, personal characteristics, etc. The narrative connections between the ontologeme of free will, thinking and acting as the semantic center of personal history (1), between the ontologeme of fate, faith and implementation (2), between the ontologeme of fortuity, intuition and event (3) have been theoretically designed. The psychological content of the ontologeme of fortuity is presented, its significance in the construction of autobiographical narratives is shown, the psychological interpretation of fortuity types in human life is given. The concepts of peripeteia (sudden fracture), hamartia (fatal case) and kairos (fluke) are considered, their existential essence, role and semantic necessity in creating personal stories are substantiated.

General Information

Keywords: personality, existential experience, autobiography, personal history, fate, case, free will, personal ontology, ontologeme

Journal rubric: General Psychology, Personality Psychology, History of Psychology

Article type: scientific article

For citation: Sapogova E.E. Fortuity as Ontologeme of Autobiographic Narratives. Vestnik of Saint Petersburg University. Psychology, 2017. Vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 286–307. (In Russ., аbstr. in Engl.)


Sapogova E.E. Semantika lichnoi zhizni: ekzistentsial’no-narrativnyi analiz avtobiograficheskikh istorii [Semantics of Personal Life: An Existential-Narrative Analysis of Autobiographical Stories]. Tula, Publishing House of Tula State University, 2014. 185 p. (In Russian)

Information About the Authors

Elena E. Sapogova, Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of Educational Psychology, Faculty of Pedagogy and Psychology, Moscow State Pedagogical University, Professor, member of the editorial board of the journal “Cultural-Historical Psychology”., Moscow, Russia, e-mail:



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