Gregory Bateson asked Richard Bandler once whether the “I” was a nominalization and Richard answered Gregory: “No, only nouns that stand for a abstract concept are nominalizations. If you put a nominalization into a wheelbarrow there is nothing there.” Gregory answered: “Ah, that is too bad.”

A nominalization is a distortion of reality because it treats abstract concepts as real existing things. A nominalisation  is taking a process and making it into a thing. As part of the metamodel a nominalisation is a distortion of reality because it takes something dynamic (a process) and presents it as something static (a thing). The issue here is that in their nominalized form these processes are less changeable and fluid then they would have been if they were stated in their active form. Denominalizing is the process of breaking down the thing the underlying process. This is mostly done with nominalisation that someone uses and where negative stuff follows on its use. In the case of positive processes it is often a good idea to nominalize them so they become less changeable and more lasting.

What separates me most deeply from the metaphysicians is: I don’t concede that the’I’ is what thinks. Instead, I take the I itself to be a construction of thinking, of the same rank as ‘matter’, ‘thing’, ‘substance’, ‘individual’, ‘purpose’, ‘number’; in other words to be only a regulative fiction with the help of which a kind of constancy and thus ‘knowability’ is inserted into, invented into, a world of becoming. Up to now belief in grammar, in the linguistic subject, object, in verbs has subjugated the metaphysicians: I teach the renunciation of this belief. It is only thinking that posits the I: but up to now philosophers have believed, like the ‘common people’, that in ‘I think’ there lay something or other of unmediated certainty and that this ‘I’ was the given cause of thinking, in analogy with which we ‘understood’ all other causal relations. However habituated and indispensable this fiction may now be, that in no way disproves its having been invented: something can be a condition of life and nevertheless be false.

Notebook 35, May – July 1885 paragraph 35

In a world of becoming in which everything is conditional, the assumption of the unconditional, of substance, of being, of a thing, etc., can only be error. But how is error possible?

Notebook 35, May – July 1885 paragraph 51

The genesis of ‘things’ is wholly the work of the imaginers, thinkers, willers, inventors – the very concept of ‘thing’ as well as all qualities. – Even ‘the subject’ is something created in this way, is a ‘thing’ like all the others: a simplification to designate as such the force which posits, invents, thinks, as distinct from all individual positing, inventing, thinking. Thus, the capacity is designated, as distinct from all individual cases: at bottom, it is action summarized with regard to all the action anticipated for the future (action and the likelihood of similar action).

Notebook 2, autumn 1885 – autumn 1886 paragraph 152