Philosophy

Articles

On Spurious Egocentricity

A. N. Priora1

a1 Balliol College, Oxford

It is frequently said that words like ‘now’, ‘then’, ‘ago’, ‘present’, ‘past’, ‘future’ and the various indications of tense, are ‘egocentric’ or ‘token-reflexive’ in character. I want to suggest, on the contrary, that the apparent egocentricity or token-reflexiveness of this class of expression is deceptive. It is perhaps not easy to see how on a point of this sort deception is possible, but a parallel case may make the position clearer.