Utterance at a distance
In this paper I defend Kaplan’s claim that the sentence “I am here now” is logically true. A number of counter-examples to the claim have been proposed, including occurrences of the sentence in answerphone messages, written notes left for later decoding, etc. These counter-examples are only convincing if they can be shown to be cases where the correct context with respect to which the utterance should be evaluated is the context in which it is decoded rather than encoded. I argue that this is not the case, and draw on the distinction between force and content to suggest an alternative account of how information is communicated in these cases that is consistent with Kaplan’s semantic theory.
KeywordsIndexicality Kaplan Semantics
An earlier version of this paper was presented at the University of Southampton. I would like to thank the audience there, as well as an anonymous referee, for helpful comments.
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