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Here

From Academic Kids

Here is "this place"; the place where a thinking subject is, or places itself.

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In common use

You are here.
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You are here.

Here is the place at which one is located, wherever that happens to be. How broad "place" is to be taken depends on context, and likewise does "here". For example, to someone living in New York City, Athens is not "here". In a discussion involving Mars, however, both New York and Athens are located on Earth, and in that context Earth (and by transitivity both cities) might be considered "here", while Mars would be "there".

Likewise, the most specific use of "here" that generalizes over almost all humans is in reference to Earth (the exception being astronauts, who may be considered to have "left" Earth).

In linguistics

In English, here can function as a pronoun, an adverb, and in some dialects as an adjective. It is a deictic expression involving deixis of space. It comes from Old English hêr, and as such is cognate with Latin cis, "on this side of".

It can be contrasted with there, which is "somewhere else", with anywhere, which theoretically includes both "here" and all possible "theres", and with nowhere, which excludes both here and there.

Hither means "to here", implying a direction; here can be used in this sense as well ("come hither" versus the more contemporary "come here"). Similarly, hence means "from here". Hence also means "therefore", in which sense it expresses a figurative rather than literal meaning of "from here" — as opposed to thence, which means "therefrom".

Languages have different approaches for the division of space. In English, here and there correspond roughly with this and that; this is the object that is here, while that refers to what's over there. Latin, by contrast, divides space three ways. While hic can mean "here" as an adverb, or "this one" as a pronoun, and ille corresponds to "that one yonder" (illic is the corresponding adverb of location), Latin also adds iste, "that one of yours," and istic, "there by you". Other languages include even more possible divisions of space.

In science

For each, physically there is most likely only one here while there are an infinity of theres.

Here can be quantified within a coordinate system; on Earth, the geographic coordinate system is most commonly used for absolute positioning.

In spacetime here is also now, as opposed to then (past) or when (future). It is therefore also the point in time where a subject is, or places itself. Since time is typically perceived as "passing", "here" moves even if the subject is stationary in space. If we were to travel back to the future, where would we find ourselves on arrival? Here moves.

By contrast, the term "here and now" in colloquial speech refers not to a point in spacetime, but to the concept of one's personal actions and awareness at any given time.

In religion and philosophy

Omnipresence is one of the traditional attributes of God in monotheistic theology, implying that "God is here" would be a true statement regardless of the speaker's whereabouts. It is less clear whether "here" as defined in this article is a meaningful concept for an omnipresent being itself, because this hinges on its ability to "place itself" somewhere.

Baba Ram Dass, the American Hindu writer, wrote a 1971 book in which he advised his readers to Be Here Now.

In philosophy or psychology, the metaphysical issue of what it means for a subject to be "here" is tied to consciousness. Indeed, here and now may be all there is, depending on one's level of awareness or consciousness.

Many philosphers have also pondered on the other part of the here issue—as mentioned above being the metaphysical "NOW". The difficult question is asked, "How is that all (sentient) beings experience "now" at the same time?" There is no logical reason why this should be the case and no easy answer to the question.

See also

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