Fallacy of the Week – Reification
Reification _ attributing an absolute definitive characteristic to something abstract.
Otherwise known as the Fallacy of Ambiguity.
“Love is blind.”
“Justice is impartial.”
“Evil has no conscience.”
This is closely related to the Equivocation Fallacy by altering the definition of a word, term or object within an argument. Assigning human qualities to inanimate objects or abstract composites is called anthropomorphization. Anthropos meaning man and morphos meaning to change into.
How we describe things indicates what we believe about them. We sometimes use word pictures to convey to others how we see the world around us. If we draw a literal comparison between philosophical abstracts and objects or intentions, we risk sending the wrong message.
It’s precisely this method of disinformation that makes reification dangerous in media and debate. The one using reification attempts to incorrectly paint a word picture to bias or taint the truth.