Abstract: Objectification is sometimes described as an act of making a person into an object. If persons can in fact be made into objects, then what is morally objectionable about treating them as such? This paper describes three ways of conceiving of ‘objectification’, and considers the possibility that descriptions of objectification are also descriptions of a ‘pseudo-agency’. Several ways of thinking about the moral status of the objectified are considered, including a comparison of harms between those deeply degraded by objectification and fully intact agents. A consideration of the status of the objectified as moral patients is also examined.
Please email me if you'd like a copy of this paper. I've omitted the title here since the paper is under review. I've struggled with the claims made in this paper for several years now, unsure how they should be formulated. I've gotten very helpful feedback on this paper but I'm always looking for more.