Definition Example
When an abstraction is treated as if it were a more concrete than is warranted. True love will find you if you only allow yourself to believe in true love.
Also known as: hypostatization / concretism
In the example, “true love” is unjustifiably treated as an conscious agent with the intention of finding humans. This is understood by most people as a poetic way of encouraging those who have not yet found a successful romantic partner. Reification is usually only a problem where linguistic rigor is required. To draw someone’s attention to the “angry” clouds is no fallacy, but a perfectly good linguistic device that effectively conveys real meaning.

Case Study One

If you were to suggest that religion is immoral since it scares humans into behaving well, you would have committed the fallacy of reification since religion is neither a moral agent that can act immorally, nor can it have the intention to scare someone since it is not a cognitive entity. This is also a composition fallacy.

Case Study Two

If you were to claim capitalism is “evil”, you would be reifying capitalism by equating it to a moral agent. This is also a composition fallacy.

Keep in mind that a fallacious argument does not entail an erroneous position.

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