Mixing Memory

Philosophy of Flirting

No, seriously. The paper in which Carrie Jenkins presents a conceptual analysis of flirting is here (via Online Papers in Philosophy). An except:

What is it to flirt? Do you have to intend to flirt with someone in order to count as doing so? Can such things as dressing a certain way count as flirting? Can one flirt with an AI character? With one’s own long-term partner? With an idea?

The question of whether or not an act of flirtation has taken place is often highly significant in our practical decision-making. For example, one may want to know whether or not one’s partner has been flirting with other people in order to decide whether to continue the relationship. Or one may want to know whether two of one’s friends have been flirting with each other in order to decide whether to give them some time alone. To facilitate such decisions, it would be helpful to have a secure grasp on what flirting actually amounts to.

If you needed more proof that conceptual analysis is dull as hell, watch what it can do to something as fun as flirting.


  1. #1 razib
    September 13, 2006

    wow. so dull it’s awe inspiring.

  2. #2 Robert Skipper
    September 16, 2006

    Thanks, Chris. Now I don’t have to say it.

  3. #3 Allison
    September 19, 2006

    I’m just about keeping my eyes open at the moment with this one.

  4. #4 Carrie Jenkins
    October 3, 2006

    You ain’t seen nothing – compared to my work on the a priori, the flirting paper is a riot. I’m completely serious. 🙂

New comments have been disabled.