Definitions

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The consideration of an abstract thing as if it were concrete, or of an inanimate object as if it were living.
  • n. The consideration of a human being as an impersonal object.
  • n. Process that makes out of a non-computable/addressable object a computable/addressable one.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Materialization; objectivization; externalization; conversion of the abstract into the concrete; the regarding or treating of an idea as a thing, or as if a tiling.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. representing a human being as a physical thing deprived of personal qualities or individuality
  • n. regarding something abstract as a material thing

Etymologies

First attested around 1846; a macaronic calque of German Verdinglichung, using -ification ("making") for ver- + -lich + -ung, and Latin res ("thing") for Ding ("thing") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Actually, I never said that before, and I had to look up the word reification, but you get the idea.

    Actuators/Units

  • Home and thus Tony White consider this obsession with harmony - usually understood politically under the term 'reification' - an error of one-sidedness.

    Brit Lit Blogs

  • Now and again, you political science folks really ought to learn some history, stuff that it outside your comfort zone in reification.

    Matthew Yglesias » Harkin Reintroduces Filibuster Reform

  • Goodman (2005: 369) warned against what they called the "reification" of the local, arguing for the need to make localism "an open, process-based vision, rather than a fixed set of standards".

    Transition Culture

  • I guess the Marxist word for this would be "reification," where movies are seen as metaphysical projections of the collective unconscious instead of internally conflicted products that blend art and commerce, while new masterpieces emerge every few weeks (and are then abandoned) and debate is preempted by a Rotten Tomatoes rating.

    News & Politics

  • It's a hypothetical construct based on a logical fallacy called "reification".

    McCook Daily Gazette Headlines

  • Around the same time I noticed this bar situation I came across the term "reification" in my comparative literature course, and it seemed to resonate with what has gone on in gay culture generally and helps to explain why gay bars in the city are now catering to specific lifestyles rather than to gay people in general.

    Vue Weekly

  • A good friend of mine is a Tom Townsend type-he uses the terms "reification," "dialectic," and "power structures" outside the confines of a philosophy seminar.

    Columbia Daily Spectator

  • Benjamin and Adorno go on to argue that high capitalist modernity and its unprecedented acceleration of the abstracting processes of commodification (the "reification" not only of objects, products, and people, but of thought and language themselves), along with the concomitant "loss of aura" (the collapse into immediacy of a previously charged, critically enabling, auratic-aesthetic distance) require that Kantian-romantic aesthetic difficultythe difficulty of grasping and negotiating the transition between types of knowledge and realms of experiencebe supplemented.

    Sociopolitical (i.e., _Romantic_) Difficulty in Modern Poetry and Aesthetics

  • While early evangelicalism had egalitarian impulses, in racial matters these were often suppressed by a reification of the status quo.

    American Grace

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