To reify a concept is to reduce an abstraction to concrete, or objective form. Reification always occurs within a context,
- In computer programming, to reify an object is to utilize programming abstractions (the “constructor”) to create a real object that contains real data and occupies real computer memory.
- The context is computer memory
- The “reduction to practice” in United States patent law describes the reification of an abstract idea into a design for an invention
- The context is technology
- In corporate law, articles of association create legal entities known as companies. In may countries a company is an “artificial person” which has legal rights and lifetimes beyond that of its founders.
- The context is a governing body of laws in a mercantile society
- A constitution is a fundamental agreement which brings a country to life.
- The context is a society of people
- In logic, a reification fallacy is the error of treating an abstract concept as if it corresponded to an objective observable in space and time.
- The context is the epistemological milieu of the human mind
Constitutions and articles of association are specific examples of the more generic concept of a charter, which is a type of agreement (arguably, a type of contract) which is used to reify any collaborative system, from countries to corporate departments to professional organizations.