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Profile: Martin Peterson (Eindhoven University of Technology)
  1. J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson (forthcoming). On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle. Erkenntnis:1-13.
    In this paper we present two distinctly epistemological puzzles that arise for one who aspires to defend the precautionary principle. The first puzzle involves an application of contextualism in epistemology; and the second puzzle concerns the task of defending a plausible version of the precautionary principle that would not be invalidated by the de minimis principle.
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  2. Martin Peterson & Sjoerd D. Zwart (forthcoming). Values and Norms in Modeling. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A.
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  3. Evan Selinger, Don Ihde, Ibo van de Poel, Martin Peterson & Peter-Paul Verbeek (2014). Erratum To: Book Symposium on Peter Paul Verbeek's Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 27 (2):315-315.
    Erratum to: Philos. Technol.DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0054-3The original version of this article was inadvertently published with an incorrect title, author group and layout. The corrected version was published in Philos. Technol. (2012) 25:605–631 (DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0058-z).
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  4. Sven Diekmann & Martin Peterson (2013). The Role of Non-Epistemic Values in Engineering Models. Science and Engineering Ethics 19 (1):207-218.
    We argue that non-epistemic values, including moral ones, play an important role in the construction and choice of models in science and engineering. Our main claim is that non-epistemic values are not only “secondary values” that become important just in case epistemic values leave some issues open. Our point is, on the contrary, that non-epistemic values are as important as epistemic ones when engineers seek to develop the best model of a process or problem. The upshot is that models are (...)
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  5. Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson (2013). Why Computer Games Can Be Essential for Human Flourishing. Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 11 (2):81-91.
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  6. Rafaela Hillerbrand & Martin Peterson (2013). Nuclear Power is Neither Right Nor Wrong: The Case for a Tertium Datur in the Ethics of Technology. [REVIEW] Science and Engineering Ethics 20 (2):1-13.
    The debate over the civilian use of nuclear power is highly polarised. We argue that a reasonable response to this deep disagreement is to maintain that advocates of both camps should modify their positions. According to the analysis we propose, nuclear power is neither entirely right nor entirely wrong, but rather right and wrong to some degree. We are aware that this non-binary analysis of nuclear power is controversial from a theoretical point of view. Utilitarians, Kantians, and other moral theorists (...)
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  7. Martin Peterson (2013). A Generalization of the Pasadena Puzzle. Dialectica 67 (4):597-603.
    By generalizing the Pasadena puzzle introduced by Nover and Hájek (2004) we show that the sum total of value produced by an act can be made to converge to any real number by applying the Riemann rearrangement theorem, even if the scenario faced by the decision maker is non-probabilistic and fully predictable. A wide range of solutions put forward in the literature for solving the original puzzle cannot solve this generalized version of the Pasadena puzzle.
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  8. Martin Peterson (2013). New Technologies Should Not Be Treated as Social Experiments. Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (3):346-348.
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  9. Martin Peterson (2013). The Dimensions of Consequentialism. Cambridge University Press.
    Consequentialism, one of the major theories of normative ethics, maintains that the moral rightness of an act is determined solely by the act's consequences and its alternatives. The traditional form of consequentialism is one-dimensional, in that the rightness of an act is a function of a single moral aspect, such as the sum total of wellbeing it produces. In this book Martin Peterson introduces a new type of consequentialist theory: multidimensional consequentialism. According to this theory, an act's moral rightness depends (...)
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  10. Martin Peterson & Per Sandin (2013). The Last Man Argument Revisited. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1):121-133.
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  11. Krist Vaesen, Martin Peterson & Bart Van Bezooijen (2013). The Reliability of Armchair Intuitions. Metaphilosophy 44 (5):559-578.
    Armchair philosophers have questioned the significance of recent work in experimental philosophy by pointing out that experiments have been conducted on laypeople and undergraduate students. To challenge a practice that relies on expert intuitions, so the armchair objection goes, one needs to demonstrate that expert intuitions rather than those of ordinary people are sensitive to contingent facts such as cultural, linguistic, socio-economic, or educational background. This article does exactly that. Based on two empirical studies on populations of 573 and 203 (...)
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  12. Nicolas Espinoza & Martin Peterson (2012). Risk and Mid-Level Moral Principles. Bioethics 26 (1):8-14.
    We discuss ethical aspects of risk-taking with special focus on principlism and mid-level moral principles. A new distinction between the strength of an obligation and the degree to which it is valid is proposed. We then use this distinction for arguing that, in cases where mid-level moral principles come into conflict, the moral status of the act under consideration may be indeterminate, in a sense rendered precise in the paper. We apply this thought to issues related to pandemic influenza vaccines. (...)
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  13. Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson (2012). Why Virtual Friendship is No Genuine Friendship. Ethics and Information Technology 14 (3):201-207.
    Based on a modern reading of Aristotle’s theory of friendship, we argue that virtual friendship does not qualify as genuine friendship. By ‘virtual friendship’ we mean the type of friendship that exists on the internet, and seldom or never is combined with real life interaction. A ‘traditional friendship’ is, in contrast, the type of friendship that involves substantial real life interaction, and we claim that only this type can merit the label ‘genuine friendship’ and thus qualify as morally valuable. The (...)
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  14. Johan E. Gustafsson & Martin Peterson (2012). A Computer Simulation of the Argument From Disagreement. Synthese 184 (3):387–405.
    In this paper we shed new light on the Argument from Disagreement by putting it to test in a computer simulation. According to this argument widespread and persistent disagreement on ethical issues indicates that our moral opinions are not influenced by any moral facts, either because no such facts exist or because they are epistemically inaccessible or inefficacious for some other reason. Our simulation shows that if our moral opinions were influenced at least a little bit by moral facts, we (...)
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  15. Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson (2012). Cost-Benefit Analysis and Non-Utilitarian Ethics. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 11 (3):1470594-11416767.
    Cost-benefit analysis is commonly understood to be intimately connected with utilitarianism and incompatible with other moral theories, particularly those that focus on deontological concepts such as rights. We reject this claim and argue that cost-benefit analysis can take moral rights as well as other non-utilitarian moral considerations into account in a systematic manner. We discuss three ways of doing this, and claim that two of them (output filters and input filters) can account for a wide range of rights-based moral theories, (...)
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  16. Martin Peterson (2012). Multi-Dimensional Consequentialism. Ratio 25 (2):177-194.
    This article introduces and explores a distinction between multi-dimensional and one-dimensional consequentialist moral theories. One-dimensional consequentialists believe that an act's deontic status depends on just one aspect of the act, such as the sum total of wellbeing it produces, or the sum total of priority- or equality-adjusted wellbeing. Multi-dimensional consequentialists believe that an act's deontic status depends on more than one aspect. They may, for instance, believe that the sum total of wellbeing produced by an act and the degree to (...)
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  17. Martin Peterson & Barbro Fröding (2012). Virtuous Choice and Parity. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 15 (1):71-82.
    This article seeks to contribute to the discussion on the nature of choice in virtue theory. If several different actions are available to the virtuous agent, they are also likely to vary in their degree of virtue, at least in some situations. Yet, it is widely agreed that once an action is recognised as virtuous there is no higher level of virtue. In this paper we discuss how the virtue theorist could accommodate both these seemingly conflicting ideas. We discuss this (...)
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  18. Evan Selinger, Don Ihde, Ibo Poel, Martin Peterson & Peter-Paul Verbeek (2012). Erratum To: Book Symposium on Peter Paul Verbeek's Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011. [REVIEW] Philosophy and Technology 25 (4):605-631.
    Erratum to: Book Symposium on Peter Paul Verbeek’s Moralizing Technology: Understanding and Designing the Morality of Things . Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2011 Content Type Journal Article Category Erratum Pages 1-27 DOI 10.1007/s13347-011-0058-z Authors Evan Selinger, Dept. Philosophy, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY, USA Don Ihde, Dept. Philosophy, Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY, USA Ibo van de Poel, Delft University of Technology, Delft, the Netherlands Martin Peterson, Eindhoven University of Technology, Eindhoven, the Netherlands Peter-Paul Verbeek, Dept. Philosophy, (...)
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  19. Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson (2011). Animals and Friendship: A Reply to Rowlands. Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (2):187-189.
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  20. Fröding & Martin Peterson (2011). Animal Ethics Based on Friendship. Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (1):58-69.
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  21. Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson (2011). Pure Time Preference. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 92 (4):490-508.
    Pure time preference is a preference for something to come at one point in time rather than another merely because of when it occurs in time. In opposition to Sidgwick, Ramsey, Rawls, and Parfit we argue that it is not always irrational to be guided by pure time preferences. We argue that even if the mere difference of location in time is not a rational ground for a preference, time may nevertheless be a normatively neutral ground for a preference, and (...)
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  22. Martin Peterson (2011). A New Twist to the St. Petersburg Paradox. Journal of Philosophy 108 (12):697-699.
    In this paper I add a new twist to Colyvan's version of the Petrograd paradox.
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  23. Martin Peterson (2011). Can Technological Artefacts Be Moral Agents? Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3):411-424.
    In this paper we discuss the hypothesis that, ‘moral agency is distributed over both humans and technological artefacts’, recently proposed by Peter-Paul Verbeek. We present some arguments for thinking that Verbeek is mistaken. We argue that artefacts such as bridges, word processors, or bombs can never be (part of) moral agents. After having discussed some possible responses, as well as a moderate view proposed by Illies and Meijers, we conclude that technological artefacts are neutral tools that are at most bearers (...)
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  24. Martin Peterson (2011). Is There an Ethics of Algorithms? Ethics and Information Technology 13 (3):251-260.
    We argue that some algorithms are value-laden, and that two or more persons who accept different value-judgments may have a rational reason to design such algorithms differently. We exemplify our claim by discussing a set of algorithms used in medical image analysis: In these algorithms it is often necessary to set certain thresholds for whether e.g. a cell should count as diseased or not, and the chosen threshold will partly depend on the software designer’s preference between avoiding false positives and (...)
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  25. Martin Peterson (2011). Pandemic Influenza and Utilitarianism. Bioethics 25 (5):290-291.
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  26. Martin Peterson (2010). A Royal Road to Consequentialism? Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (2):153-169.
    To consequentialise a moral theory means to account for moral phenomena usually described in nonconsequentialist terms, such as rights, duties, and virtues, in a consequentialist framework. This paper seeks to show that all moral theories can be consequentialised. The paper distinguishes between different interpretations of the consequentialiser’s thesis, and emphasises the need for a cardinal ranking of acts. The paper also offers a new answer as to why consequentialising moral theories is important: This yields crucial methodological insights about how to (...)
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  27. Martin Peterson (2010). Can Consequentialists Honour the Special Moral Status of Persons? Utilitas 22 (4):434-446.
    It is widely believed that consequentialists are committed to the claim that persons are mere containers for well-being. In this article I challenge this view by proposing a new version of consequentialism, according to which the identities of persons matter. The new theory, two-dimensional prioritarianism, is a natural extension of traditional prioritarianism. Two-dimensional prioritarianism holds that wellbeing matters more for persons who are at a low absolute level than for persons who are at a higher level and that it is (...)
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  28. Martin Peterson (2010). Review of Paul Weirich, Collective Rationality: Equilibrium in Cooperative Games. [REVIEW] Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2010 (7).
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  29. Martin Peterson (2010). Some Versions of the Number Problem Have No Solution. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 13 (4):439-451.
    This article addresses Taruek’s much discussed Number Problem from a non-consequentialist point of view. I argue that some versions of the Number Problem have no solution, meaning that no alternative is at least as choice-worthy as the others, and that the best way to behave in light of such moral indeterminacy is to let chance make the decision. I contrast my proposal with F M <span class='Hi'>Kamm</span>’s nonconsequentialist argument for saving the greatest number, the Argument for Best Outcomes, which I (...)
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  30. Martin Peterson (2010). Theory of Decision Under Uncertainty , Itzak Gilboa. Cambridge University Press, 2009. XIV + 215 Pages. [REVIEW] Economics and Philosophy 26 (2):254-258.
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  31. Martin Peterson (2009). An Introduction to Decision Theory. Cambridge University Press.
    This up-to-date introduction to decision theory offers comprehensive and accessible discussions of decision-making under ignorance and risk, the foundations of utility theory, the debate over subjective and objective probability, Bayesianism, causal decision theory, game theory, and social choice theory. No mathematical skills are assumed, and all concepts and results are explained in non-technical and intuitive as well as more formal ways. There are over 100 exercises with solutions, and a glossary of key terms and concepts. An emphasis on foundational aspects (...)
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  32. Martin Peterson (2009). The Mixed Solution to the Number Problem. Journal of Moral Philosophy 6 (2):166-177.
    You must either save a group of m people or a group of n people. If there are no morally relevant diff erences among the people, which group should you save? is problem is known as the number problem. e recent discussion has focussed on three proposals: (i) Save the greatest number of people, (ii) Toss a fair coin, or (iii) Set up a weighted lottery, in which the probability of saving m people is m / m + n , (...)
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  33. Per Sandin & Martin Peterson (2009). Guest Editors' Introduction. Philosophy of Management 8 (2):1-2.
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  34. Martin Peterson (2008). The Moral Importance of Selecting People Randomly. Bioethics 22 (6):321–327.
    This article discusses some ethical principles for distributing pandemic influenza vaccine and other indivisible goods. I argue that a number of principles for distributing pandemic influenza vaccine recently adopted by several national governments are morally unacceptable because they put too much emphasis on utilitarian considerations, such as the ability of the individual to contribute to society. Instead, it would be better to distribute vaccine by setting up a lottery. The argument for this view is based on a purely consequentialist account (...)
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  35. Martin Peterson (2007). On Multi-Attribute Risk Analysis. In Tim Lewens (ed.), Risk: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge.
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  36. Martin Peterson (2007). Parity, Clumpiness and Rational Choice. Utilitas 19 (4):505-513.
    Some philosophers believe that two objects of value can be ‘roughly equal’, or ‘on a par’, or belong to the same ‘clump’ of value in a sense that is fundamentally different from that in which some objects are ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, or ‘equally as good as’ others. This article shows that if two objects are on a par, or belong to the same clump, then an agent accepting a few plausible premises can be exploited in a money-pump. The central (...)
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  37. Niklas Möller, Sven Ove Hansson & Martin Peterson (2006). Safety is More Than the Antonym of Risk. Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (4):419–432.
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  38. Martin Peterson (2006). Indeterminate Preferences. Philosophical Studies 130 (2):297-320.
    It is commonly assumed that preferences are determinate; that is, that an agent who has a preference knows that she has the preference in question and is disposed to act upon it. This paper argues the dubiousness of that assumption. An account of indeterminate preferences in terms of self-predicting subjective probabilities is given, and a decision rule for choices involving indeterminate preferences is proposed. Wolfgang Spohn’s and Isaac <span class='Hi'>Levi</span>’s arguments against self-predicting probabilities are also considered, in light of Wlodek (...)
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  39. Martin Peterson (2006). Jonathan Dancy, Ethics Without Principles Oxford University Press 2004, 229 Pp. Isbn 0199270023. [REVIEW] Theoria 72 (2):162-165.
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  40. Martin Peterson & Sven Ove Hansson (2005). Equality and Priority. Utilitas 17 (3):299-309.
    This article argues that, contrary to the received view, prioritarianism and egalitarianism are not jointly incompatible theories in normative ethics. By introducing a distinction between weighing and aggregating, the authors show that the seemingly conflicting intuitions underlying prioritarianism and egalitarianism are consistent. The upshot is a combined position, equality-prioritarianism, which takes both prioritarian and egalitarian considerations into account in a technically precise manner. On this view, the moral value of a distribution of well-being is a product of two factors: the (...)
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  41. Martin Peterson & Sven Ove Hansson (2005). Order-Independent Transformative Decision Rules. Synthese 147 (2):323-342.
    A transformative decision rule alters the representation of a decision problem, either by changing the set of alternative acts or the set of states of the world taken into consideration, or by modifying the probability or value assignments. A set of transformative decision rules is order-independent in case the order in which the rules are applied is irrelevant. The main result of this paper is an axiomatic characterization of order-independent transformative decision rules, based on a single axiom. It is shown (...)
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  42. Martin Peterson (2004). Foreign Aid and the Moral Value of Freedom. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 7 (3):293-307.
    Peter Singer has famously argued that people living in affluent western countries are morally obligated to donate money to famine relief. The central premise in his argument is that, If it is in our power to prevent something bad from happening, without thereby sacrificing anything of comparable moral importance, we ought, morally, to do so. The present paper offers an argument to the effect that affluent people ought to support foreign aid projects based on a much weaker ethical premise. The (...)
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  43. Martin Peterson (2004). From Outcomes to Acts: A Non-Standard Axiomatization of the Expected Utility Principle. Journal of Philosophical Logic 33 (4):361-378.
    This paper presents an axiomatization of the principle of maximizing expected utility that does not rely on the independence axiom or sure-thing principle. Perhaps more importantly the new axiomatization is based on an ex ante approach, instead of the standard ex post approach. An ex post approach utilizes the decision maker's preferences among risky acts for generating a utility and a probability function, whereas in the ex ante approach a set of preferences among potential outcomes are on the input side (...)
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  44. Martin Peterson (2004). Transformative Decision Rules, Permutability, and Non-Sequential Framing of Decision Problems. Synthese 139 (3):387-403.
    The concept of transformative decision rules provides auseful tool for analyzing what is often referred to as the`framing', or `problem specification', or `editing' phase ofdecision making. In the present study we analyze a fundamentalaspect of transformative decision rules, viz. permutability. A setof transformative decision rules is, roughly put, permutable justin case it does not matter in which order the rules are applied.It is argued that in order to be normatively reasonable, sets oftransformative decision rules have to satisfy a number ofstructural (...)
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  45. Martin Peterson (2003). From Consequentialism to Utilitarianism. Journal of Philosophy 100 (8):403-415.
  46. Martin Peterson (2003). Transformative Decision Rules. Erkenntnis 58 (1):71-85.
    A transformative decision rule transforms a given decision probleminto another by altering the structure of the initial problem,either by changing the framing or by modifying the probability orvalue assignments. Examples of decision rules belonging to thisclass are the principle of insufficient reason, Isaac Levi'scondition of E-admissibility, the de minimis rule, andthe precautionary principle. In this paper some foundationalissues concerning transformative decision rules are investigated,and a couple of formal properties of this class of rules areproved.
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  47. Martin Peterson (2002). An Argument for the Principle of Maximizing Expected Utility. Theoria 68 (2):112-128.
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  48. Martin Peterson, New Technologies And The Ethics Of Extreme Risks.
    In this paper I intend to discuss social decision-making involving extreme risks. By an extreme risk, I mean a potential outcome of an act for which the probability is low, but whose negative value is high. Extreme risks are often discussed when new technologies are introduced into society. Nuclear power and genetic engineering are two well-known examples.
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