Advertisement

Philosophical Studies

, Volume 164, Issue 1, pp 93–111 | Cite as

Justification magnets

  • C. S. I. Jenkins
Article

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Justification Reference Reference magnets David Lewis Epistemology Interpretationism 

Notes

Acknowledgments

Many thanks to Trent Dougherty, Jonathan Jenkins Ichikawa, Daniel Nolan, Brian Weatherson, and J. Robert G. Williams for comments on earlier drafts, to participants at the University of British Columbia Spring Colloquium 2012, participants at the Paris-Sorbonne Metaphysical Knowledge Conference 2012, participants at the Northern Institute of Philosophy Conference on the A Priori 2012, especially my commentator Aidan McGlynn, participants at the Leeds Indeterminacy Workshop of June 2012, and participants at the Bellingham Summer Philosophy Conference 2012, especially my commentators Andrew Bailey and Sophie Horowitz. I acknowledge receipt of many excellent comments and suggestions that I’m unable to do full justice to in this paper, but hope to pursue in further work.

References

  1. Cohen, S. (1984). Justification and truth. Philosophical Studies, 46, 279–295.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Connee, E., & Feldman, R. (2001). Internalism defended. In H. Kornblith (Ed.), Epistemology: Internalism and externalism (pp. 231–260). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  3. Field, H. (2000). Apriority as an evaluative notion. In P. Boghossian & C. Peacocke (Eds.), New essays on the a priori (pp. 117–149). Oxford: Clarendon Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Glüer, K., & Wikforss, Å. (2009). The normativity of meaning and content. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/meaning-normativity/. Accessed 13 Jan 2013.
  5. Goldman, A. (2008). Reliabilism. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/reliabilism/. Accessed 13 Jan 2013.
  6. Goodman, N. (1955). Fact, fiction and forecast. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  7. Hansson, S. (2011). Risk. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/risk/. Accessed 13 Jan 2013.
  8. Ichikawa, J., & Jarvis, B. (2013). The rules of thought: A rationalist proposal. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  9. Jenkins, C. (2008). Grounding concepts: An empirical basis for arithmetical knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Kripke, S. (1980). Naming and necessity. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Kripke, S. (1982). Wittgenstein on rules and private language. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  12. Lewis, D. (1973). Counterfactuals. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Lewis, D. (1979). Attitudes De Dicto and De Se. The Philosophical Review, 88, 513–543.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Lewis, D. (1983). New work for a theory of universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 61, 343–377 (Reprinted in his Papers in metaphysics and epistemology, 1999, Cambridge University Press, pp. 8–55).Google Scholar
  15. Pappas, G. (2005). Internalist vs. externalist conceptions of epistemic justification. In E. Zalta (Ed.), Stanford encyclopedia of philosophy. http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/justep-intext/. Accessed 13 Jan 2013.
  16. Putnam, H. (1983). Realism and reason: Philosophical papers (Vol. 3). Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  17. Quine, W. V. O. (1951). Two dogmas of empiricism. Philosophical Review (Reprinted in his From a logical point of view: Nine logico-philosophical essays, 1953, edn. of 1980, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, pp. 20–46).Google Scholar
  18. Quine, W. V. O. (1960). Word and object. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.Google Scholar
  19. Sider, T. (2011). Writing the book of the world. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Titelbaum, M. (2010). Not enough there there: Evidence, reasons and language independence. Philosophical Perspectives, 24, 477–528.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Weatherson, B. (2003). What good are counterexamples? Philosophical Studies, 115, 1–31.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Weatherson, B. (MS). The role of naturalness in Lewis’s theory of meaning. http://brian.weatherson.org/RoLMaN.pdf. Accessed 13 Jan 2013.
  23. Williams, J. R. G. (2007). Eligibility and inscrutability. Philosophical Review, 116, 361–399.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Williams, J. R. G. (MS). Lewis on reference and eligibility. http://www.personal.leeds.ac.uk/~phljrgw/wip/LewisOnReferenceForCompanion2.pdf. Accessed 13 Jan 2013.
  25. Wittgenstein, L. (1969). On certainty (D. Paul & G. E. M. Anscombe, Trans.). Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
  26. Wright, C. (2004). Warrant for nothing (and foundations for free)? Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume, 78, 167–212.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of British ColumbiaVancouverCanada

Personalised recommendations