Ultimate Reality and Meaning vol:12 issue:2 pages:113-132
Empirical work based on the social-psychological Relation-Pattern Model, further elaborated by using Greimas' Semiotoc Square as an analytic tool, revealed that, on a deep-structural level, the same information could be processed in a personalized and in a depersonalized discourse about reality. The resulting conceptual framework is then applied to various concepts of ultimate reality and meaning found in philosophical doctrines, such as materialism, idealism, mind-matter dualism, and process philosophy. It seems that the antagonism between idealist and materialist doctrines may be due to the fact that the distinction between mind and matter is not only associated with the distinction between 'selfness' and 'otherness,' but is, in addition, confounded with the distinction between person and non-person, which implies psychological incompatibility and generalizes to the opposition between being and nothing. If the latter opposition is conceived as psychological rather than logical, it is possible to design logically a coherent system like, for example, process philosophy that tries to integrate both opposites by combining 'nothing' and 'being' into 'becoming.' In regard to mythical and religious thoughts one can expect formal compatibility together with psychological incompatibility not only in terms of a personal God versus an impersonal abstract principle, but also between the idea of a 'good and mighty God' belonging to a personalized discourse, and the conception of God in terms of particular roles such as the 'supreme judge,' belonging to a depersonalized discourse.