Archive Nota Bene Simon Kennedy

Reification and our use of language

This is a brief follow up to my post on the uses of the word religio. Alan Jacobs has made some interesting observations about Peter Harrison’s Territories of Science and Religion and the reification of terms. He writes the following over at The New Atlantis:

One of the chief themes of Peter Harrison’s recent book The Territories of Science and Religion is the major semantic alteration both terms of his title — science (scientia) and religion (religio) — have undergone over the centuries … The transformation in each term is, then, a form of reification: a “personal attribute,” a habit or virtue, gradually becomes externalized — becomes a kind of thing, though not a material thing — becomes something out there in the world.

Read on.

By Simon Kennedy

Simon is a PhD candidate at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities, University of Queensland. He resides in Geelong, Victoria with his wife and four children.