Content-type: text/html ~ Stephen's Web ~ Creeped Out

Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

What is it for something to be 'creepy'? How about: "For something to be creepy is for it to be disposed to elicit a reaction of being creeped out from appropriate observers in suitable circumstances." But what does it even mean to say 'disposed to elicit a reaction of'? Isn't this more a property of the person being creeped out, rather than a property of the thing being called 'creepy'? This paper (19 page PDF) explores this question. It's an important question  because the same sort of logic applies to response-dependent properties in general: something is red, something is funny, something is unexpected, something is a priority, something is unethical, for example. When we make such a claim we (arguably) say more about ourselves than about the thing in question.

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: May 20, 2024 01:36 a.m.

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