Volume 22, Issue 1, 2019
Axel Honneth, Reification, and "Nature"
I begin by briefly reconstructing Honneth’s concept of reification. His paradigm gives the reification of the non-human environment a marginal position in comparison to the reification of human beings, thereby detracting from its explanatory and critical potential. In order to avoid this outcome, I subsequently present a paradigm of subject identity formation in which not only affectively-based intersubjective interactions but also affectively-based interactions with the non-human environment are, in both a “genetic” and a “conceptual” sense, essential to establish an objective and meaningful relationship with external reality. On the basis of this paradigm a closer connection can be identified between the reification of human beings and the reification of the non-human environment—a connection in which the reification of the latter may reinforce human reification (and vice versa).