Objectification is the process by which an abstract
Abstraction is a process by which higher concepts are derived from the usage and classification of literal concepts, first principles, or other methods....

 concept is made as objective as possible in the purest sense of the term. It is also treated as if it is a concrete thing or physical object. In this sense the term is a synonym to reification
Reification generally refers to bringing into being or turning concrete.Specifically, reification may refer to:*Reification , making a data model for a previously abstract concept...


This term is also used to describe the treatment of a human being as a thing, disregarding his/her personality or sentience
Sentience is the ability to feel, perceive or be conscious, or to have subjective experiences. Eighteenth century philosophers used the concept to distinguish the ability to think from the ability to feel . In modern western philosophy, sentience is the ability to have sensations or experiences...

Philosopher Martha Nussbaum
Martha Nussbaum
Martha Nussbaum , is an American philosopher with a particular interest in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, political philosophy and ethics....

 has argued that something is objectified if any of the following factors is present:
  • Instrumentality – if the thing is treated as a tool for one's own purposes;
  • Denial of autonomy
    Autonomy is a concept found in moral, political and bioethical philosophy. Within these contexts, it is the capacity of a rational individual to make an informed, un-coerced decision...

     – if the thing is treated as if lacking in agency or self-determination
    Self-determination is the principle in international law that nations have the right to freely choose their sovereignty and international political status with no external compulsion or external interference...

  • Inertness – if the thing is treated as if lacking in agency;
  • Ownership
    Ownership is the state or fact of exclusive rights and control over property, which may be an object, land/real estate or intellectual property. Ownership involves multiple rights, collectively referred to as title, which may be separated and held by different parties. The concept of ownership has...

     – if the thing is treated as if owned by another;
  • Fungibility
    Fungibility is the property of a good or a commodity whose individual units are capable of mutual substitution, such as crude oil, wheat, precious metals or currencies...

     – if the thing is treated as if interchangeable;
  • Violability – if the thing is treated as if permissible to damage or destroy;
  • denial of subjectivity
    Subjectivity refers to the subject and his or her perspective, feelings, beliefs, and desires. In philosophy, the term is usually contrasted with objectivity.-Qualia:...

     – if the thing is treated as if there is no need to show concern for the 'object's' feelings and experiences.

See also

  • Description
    Description is one of four rhetorical modes , along with exposition, argumentation, and narration. Each of the rhetorical modes is present in a variety of forms and each has its own purpose and conventions....

  • Sexual objectification
    Sexual objectification
    Sexual objectification refers to the practice of regarding or treating another person merely as an instrument towards one's sexual pleasure, and a sex object is a person who is regarded simply as an object of sexual gratification or who is sexually attractive...

  • Dehumanization
    Dehumanization is to make somebody less human by taking away his or her individuality, the creative and interesting aspects of his or her personality, or his or her compassion and sensitivity towards others. Dehumanization may be directed by an organization or may be the composite of individual...

  • Edward Said's
    Edward Said
    Edward Wadie Saïd was a Palestinian-American literary theorist and advocate for Palestinian rights. He was University Professor of English and Comparative Literature at Columbia University and a founding figure in postcolonialism...

     Imagined geographies
    Imagined geographies
    The concept of imagined geographies has evolved out of the work of Edward Said, particularly his critique on Orientalism. In this term, ‘imagined’ is used not to mean ‘false’ or ‘made-up’, but ‘perceived’. It refers to the perception of space created through certain images, texts or discourses...

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