Objectification is the process by which an abstract 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.

This term is also used to describe the treatment of a human being as a thing, disregarding his/her personality or sentience. Philosopher Martha Nussbaum[1] 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 – if the thing is treated as if lacking in agency or self-determination;
  • Inertness – if the thing is treated as if lacking in agency;
  • Ownership – if the thing is treated as if owned by another;
  • Fungibility – if the thing is treated as if interchangeable;
  • Violability – if the thing is treated as if permissible to damage or destroy;
  • denial of subjectivity – if the thing is treated as if there is no need to show concern for the 'object's' feelings and experiences.

See also


  1. ^ Martha C. Nussbaum, “Objectification”, Philosophy and Public Affairs, 24 (4), pp. 279–83. OCLC 484757897

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • objectification — n. representing as an object. [WordNet 1.5] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • objectification — (n.) 1860, noun of action from OBJECTIFY (Cf. objectify) …   Etymology dictionary

  • objectification — objectify ► VERB (objectifies, objectified) 1) express (something abstract) in a concrete form. 2) degrade to the status of an object. DERIVATIVES objectification noun …   English terms dictionary

  • objectification — noun see objectify …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • objectification — See objectify. * * * …   Universalium

  • objectification — noun /ɒbˌdʒɛkt.ɪ.fɪˈkeɪ.ʃʌn/ The process or manifestation of objectifying (something) …   Wiktionary

  • objectification — (Roget s Thesaurus II) noun A physical entity typifying an abstraction: embodiment, exteriorization, externalization, incarnation, manifestation, materialization, personalization, personification, substantiation, type. Rhetoric: prosopopeia. See… …   English dictionary for students

  • objectification — ob·jec·ti·fi·ca·tion …   English syllables

  • objectification — See: objectify …   English dictionary

  • objectification —  Объектификация …   Вестминстерский словарь теологических терминов

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