Reify – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku


Happy Friday! Today’s Word of the Day is quite conceptual in nature, while also being rather concrete in meaning. In addition to its general definition, as reflected in the graphic above, it has been applied in reference to Marxism (Click here to read more on that from Wikipedia. ) or regarded as a fallacy of ambiguity according to this wiki source:

From Wikipedia:

“Reification (also known as concretism, hypostatization, or the fallacy of misplaced concreteness) is a fallacy of ambiguity, when an abstraction (abstract belief or hypothetical construct) is treated as if it were a concrete, real event, or physical entity. [1][2] In other words, it is the error of treating something which is not concrete, such as an idea, as a concrete thing. A common case of reification is the confusion of a model with reality: “the map is not the territory”.

Reification is part of normal usage of natural language (just like metonymy for instance), as well as of literature, where a reified abstraction is intended as a figure of speech, and actually understood as such. But the use of reification in logical reasoning or rhetoric is misleading and usually regarded as a fallacy.”

OY!…is your brain hurting yet? Perhaps I should rethink exploring these “words of the day” as a morning practice! I promise, I am not a masochist! To preserve my sanity and brain cells I do sometimes need to let these challenges simmer a bit while my brain acclimates to the shock of being set into high gear.

Today was one of those days! Not to worry…I came up with a handful of haiku. I will leave you with this last thought…an excerpt from LogosJournal’s exploration of the history of the word:

As a synonym of ‘thingification,’ the inverse of personification, reification metaphorically refers to the transformation of human properties, relations, processes, actions, concepts, etc. into res, into things that act as pseudo-persons, endowed with a life of their own. Depending on the grammatical subject of reification – who reifies what: is it the analyst who reifies the concepts or is it society that alienates the subjects? – the transformation of human properties, social relations, abstract concepts, etc. into things, types and numbers can operate both on an epistemological and on a social level.

I rather like reification’s synonyms…”thingification” or “to thingify” as in reify… now this, I get! I have provided the synonym for you if you haven’t had your coffee yet. Now I think it’s time for a nap!  🙂

Reify in Haiku

The past reified (thingified)
is a utopian myth
doomed to a repeat?

some reify (thingify) god
imagining him human
reveals lack of faith.

A reckless notion
is corporate personhood
reification (thingification)?

to say “piece of meat”
is crude reification (thingification)
‘oft uttered by “tools”.

kat ~ 15 January 2016

10 responses to “Reify – Friday’s Word of the Day Haiku

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