Justification magnets

C. S. I. Jenkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


David Lewis is associated with the controversial thesis that some properties are more eligible than others to be the referents of our predicates solely in virtue of those properties’ being more natural; independently, that is, of anything to do with our patterns of usage of the relevant predicates. On such a view, the natural properties act as ‘reference magnets’. In this paper I explore (though I do not endorse) a related thesis in epistemology: that some propositions are ‘justification magnets’. According to the doctrine of justification magnetism, we have better justification for some propositions than for others solely in virtue of certain features of those propositions; independently, that is, of anything to do with evidential support or cognitive accomplishment. In the course of discussing an objection to justification magnetism I describe (though I do not endorse) a novel approach to epistemology akin to interpretationism in the theory of reference.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-111
Number of pages19
JournalPhilosophical Studies
Issue number1
Early online date18 Jan 2013
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • justification
  • reference
  • reference magnets
  • David Lewis
  • epistemiology
  • interpretationism


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