Organon F

Volume 28, February 2021, Issue 1, Pages 253–268

ISSN 2585-7150 (online) ISSN 1335-0668 (print)

Research Article | Special issue on Names and Fictions

On Anaphors Linked to Names Used Metaphorically

Eros Corazza – Christopher Genovesi


In their 2018 paper “On the Metaphoric Use of (Fictional) Proper Names”, Corazza & Genovesi explored what speakers do when they utter a fictional name in a metaphorical way to refer to actual individuals. The example given was “Odysseus returned home” referring to their friend Bill, who had returned after a long and hectic journey. With such an example in mind, Corazza & Genovesi claimed that speakers produce a metaphorical utterance where properties of Odysseus are mapped onto the referent that the speaker intends so that they refer to that person. That is to say, the name “Odysseus” somewhat ceases to be a proper name, and instead becomes something akin to a Donnellan’s referential use of descriptions, i.e. a description that successfully picks out an object of discourse even if the latter does not satisfy the descriptive content conveyed by the description. In our example Bill does not satisfy the property of being called “Odysseus”. In this paper, we connect the previous work by Corazza & Genovesi’s with anaphora, in particular with the use of anaphoric definite descriptions linked to a metaphorical use of a proper name. With fictional proper names in mind, we are interested in cases where speakers anaphorically refer to the actual referent. For example, we are interested in utterances of the sort “Odysseus returned home, he1 is hungry” or “Odysseus1 returned home, the/that brave soldier1 is hungry”, where “Odysseus” is metaphorically used to refer to the actual person, Bill, the individual the speaker has in mind. Such sentences leave us wondering how the anaphoric pronoun or description simultaneously carries the content from the fictional subject, and refers to Bill. On a cursory analysis, anaphora forces the properties attributed to the actual referent (e.g., Bill) into the background, like pragmatic presupposition. In the cases of anaphoric complex demonstratives and definite descriptions, the speaker emphasizes, or makes salient the further implications shared between the fictional character (e.g., Odysseus) and the actual referent (e.g., Bill; and that Bill, like Odysseus, had a harrowing journey).


Proper names, metaphors, descriptions; anaphors, anti-logophoric pronouns.

Author(s) and affiliation(s)


Eros Corazza 


University of the Basque Country and Carleton University


The University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, Donostia, Spain



Christopher Genovesi 


University of the Basque Country


The University of the Basque Country UPV-EHU, Donostia, Spain


About this article


3 September 2020


5 December 2020

Published online

28 February 2021


Institute of Philosophy of the Slovak Academy of Sciences

Institute of Philosophy of the Czech Academy of Sciences

Cite as


Corazza, E. and Genovesi, C. (2021). On Anaphors Linked to Names Used Metaphoricallys. Organon F, 28(1), 253–268.


Corazza, Eros and Genovesi, Christopher. 2021. "On Anaphors Linked to Names Used Metaphorically." Organon F 28 (1): 253–268.


Corazza, E. and Genovesi, C. (2021). On Anaphors Linked to Names Used Metaphorically. Organon F, 28(1), pp. 253–268.

Copyright information

© Eros Corazza and Christopher Genovesi

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