We are interested in aligning how people think about objects and what machines perceive, meaning by this the fact that object recognition, as performed by a machine, should follow a process which resembles that followed by humans when thinking of an object associated with a certain concept. The ultimate goal is to build systems which can meaningfully interact with their users, describing what they perceive in the users' own terms. As from the field of Lexical Semantics, humans organize the meaning of words in hierarchies where the meaning of, e.g., a noun, is defined in terms of the meaning of a more general noun, its genus, and of one or more differentiating properties, its differentia. The main tenet of this paper is that object recognition should implement a hierarchical process which follows the hierarchical semantic structure used to define the meaning of words. We achieve this goal by implementing an algorithm which, for any object, recursively recognizes its visual genus and its visual differentia. In other words, the recognition of an object is decomposed in a sequence of steps where the locally relevant visual features are recognized. This paper presents the algorithm and a first evaluation.