Synthese

, Volume 138, Issue 2, pp 289–313 | Cite as

On the Alleged Ambiguity of ‘Now’ and ‘Here’

  • Eros Corazza
Article

Abstract

It is argued that, in order to account for examples where the indexicals `now' and `here' do not refer to the time and location of the utterance, we do not have to assume (pace Quentin Smith) that they have different characters (reference-fixing rules), governed by a single metarule or metacharacter. The traditional, the fixed character view is defended: `now' and `here' always refer to the time and location of the utterance. It is shown that when their referent does not correspond to the time and/or location of the utterance, `now' and `here' work in an anaphoric way, inheriting their reference from another noun phrase. The latter may be explicit or implicit in the discourse. It is also shown that `now' and `here' can inherit their reference from a presupposed or tacit reference. In that case, they are coreferential with what will be labeled a `tacit initiator'. This anaphoric interpretation has the merit of fitting within the Kaplanian distinction between pure indexicals (`now', `here', `today', etc.) and demonstratives (`this', `that', `she', etc.).

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Eros Corazza
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyThe University of Nottingham University ParkNottinghamU.K.

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