I would like to reclaim the word “thingification” from Marxist meta physics, not because I am anti Marxist, which I am, but because it is a neat word that I need, without the Marx connotations.
Perhaps it has been liberated as reported here:
It is used in philosophical or theological literature predominantly. It means that something is being treated as a thing-in-itself and possibly with animate, anthropic characteristics, and or highly separated, made unrelated or non-contingent on its existence in relation to other relations or ‘things’. This is also related to ‘alienation’.
Thingification is perhaps the greatest most common illusion or delusion, or what Buddhists call “conventional perception”. It is a mind bending concept and for that reason not so much in common use, but very powerful as a concept to apply to all manner of events in daily life.
I just heard a talk at Stanford by Josh Tenenbaum discussing his AI work which revives some of the early AI thrusts with predicate calculus. One of the tasks for his programs to do was the creation of new nouns, not to name things that had been identified, but to elevate knowledge of the environment to justify a new noun. In short to create useful nouns that the programmer might not have thought to introduce a priori.