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Profile: Martin Peterson (Texas A&M University)
  1.  27
    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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  2. J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson (forthcoming). The Modal Account of Luck Revisited. Synthese:1-10.
    According to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck (e.g. Pritchard (2005, 128)), an event is lucky just when that event occurs in the actual world but not in a wide class of the nearest possible worlds where the relevant conditions for that event are the same as in the actual world. This paper argues, with reference to a novel variety of counterexample, that it is a mistake to focus, when assessing a given event for luckiness, on events (...)
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  3.  35
    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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  4.  52
    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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  5. J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson (2015). On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle. Erkenntnis 80 (1):1-13.
    In this paper we present two distinctly epistemological puzzles that arise for one who aspires to defend some plausible version of 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 de minimis.
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  6.  33
    Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson (2015). Pure Time Preference: Reply to Johansson and Rosenqvist. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2).
    Johansson and Rosenqvist reject our argument for the rational permissibility of pure time preferences. Johansson and Rosenqvist's main objection is that where two options, X and Y, have equal intrinsic value, there will be a reason to be indifferent between X and Y, and therefore a reason to not hold a PTP for X or Y. In this reply, we argue that if two options have equal intrinsic value, it does not follow that you have a reason to be indifferent. (...)
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  7.  84
    J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson (2016). On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle: Reply to Steglich-Petersen. Erkenntnis 81 (2):297-304.
    In a recent paper in this journal, we proposed two novel puzzles associated with the precautionary principle. Both are puzzles that materialise, we argue, once we investigate the principle through an epistemological lens, and each constitutes a philosophical hurdle for any proponent of a plausible version of the precautionary principle. Steglich-Petersen claims, also in this journal, that he has resolved our puzzles. In this short note, we explain why we remain skeptical.
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10.  32
    J. Adam Carter, Martin Peterson & Bart van Bezooijen (2016). Not Knowing a Cat is a Cat: Analyticity and Knowledge Ascriptions. Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (4):817-834.
    It is a natural assumption in mainstream epistemological theory that ascriptions of knowledge of a proposition p track strength of epistemic position vis-à-vis p. It is equally natural to assume that the strength of one’s epistemic position is maximally high in cases where p concerns a simple analytic truth. For instance, it seems reasonable to suppose that one’s epistemic position vis-à-vis “a cat is a cat” is harder to improve than one’s position vis-à-vis “a cat is on the mat”, and (...)
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  11.  80
    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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  12.  20
    Martin Peterson (2015). Prospectism and the Weak Money Pump Argument. Theory and Decision 78 (3):451-456.
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  13.  47
    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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  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.  69
    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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  16.  24
    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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  17. 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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  18. Martin Peterson (2013). The Dimensions of Consequentialism: Ethics, Equality and Risk. 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. 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 on several separate (...)
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  19.  13
    Frööding & Martin Peterson (2011). Animal Ethics Based on Friendship. Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (1):58-69.
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  20.  56
    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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  21. 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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  22.  41
    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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  23. 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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  24.  58
    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 Kamm ’s nonconsequentialist argument for saving the greatest number, the Argument for Best Outcomes, which I (...)
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  25.  25
    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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  26.  28
    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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  27.  6
    Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson (2011). Animals and Friendship: A Reply to Rowlands. Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (2):187-189.
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  28.  75
    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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  29.  10
    Martin Peterson (2016). The Dimensions of Consequentialism: Reply to Schmidt, Brown, Howard-Snyder, Crisp, Andric and Tanyi, and Gertken. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 19 (1):71-82.
    In this article I respond to comments and objections raised in the special issue on my book The Dimensions of Consequentialism. I defend my multi-dimensional consequentialist theory against a range of challenges articulated by Thomas Schmidt, Campbell Brown, Frances Howard-Snyder, Roger Crisp, Vuko Andric and Attila Tanyi, and Jan Gertken. My aim is to show that multi-dimensional consequentialism is, at least, a coherent and intuitively plausible alternative to one-dimensional theories such as utilitarianism, prioritarianism, and mainstream accounts of egalitarianism. I am (...)
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  30.  40
    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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  31.  99
    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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  32.  81
    Martin Peterson (2003). From Consequentialism to Utilitarianism. Journal of Philosophy 100 (8):403-415.
    In this article, we show that total act utilitarianism can be derived from a set of axioms that are (or ought to be) acceptable for anyone subscribing to the basic ideals of consequentialism.
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  33.  94
    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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  34.  27
    Martin Peterson & Sjoerd D. Zwart (2014). Introduction: Values and Norms in Modeling. Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 46:1-2.
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  35.  27
    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 Levi ’s arguments against self-predicting probabilities are also considered, in light of Wlodek (...)
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  36.  30
    Martin Peterson (2002). An Argument for the Principle of Maximizing Expected Utility. Theoria 68 (2):112-128.
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  37.  61
    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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  38.  10
    Martin Peterson (2016). Do Pragmatic Arguments Show Too Much? European Journal for Philosophy of Science 6 (2):165-172.
    Pragmatic arguments seek to demonstrate that you can be placed in a situation in which you will face a sure and foreseeable loss if you do not behave in accordance with some principle P. In this article I show that for every P entailed by the principle of maximizing expected utility you will not be better off from a pragmatic point of view if you accept P than if you don’t, because even if you obey the axioms of expected utility (...)
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  39. Martin Peterson (2007). On Multi-Attribute Risk Analysis. In Tim Lewens (ed.), Risk: Philosophical Perspectives. Routledge
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  40.  25
    Martin Peterson & Per Sandin (2013). The Last Man Argument Revisited. Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1):121-133.
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  41.  6
    Martin Peterson & Sven Ove Hansson (2005). Order-Independent Transformative Decision Rules. Synthese 147 (2):323-342.
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  42.  21
    Rafaela Hillerbrand & Martin Peterson (2014). 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):583-595.
    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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  43.  33
    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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  44.  13
    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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  45.  29
    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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  46.  37
    Martin Peterson (2011). Pandemic Influenza and Utilitarianism. Bioethics 25 (5):290-291.
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  47.  35
    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.
  48.  5
    Martin Peterson (2014). Reply to Ralf Bader. Dialectica 68 (4):625-629.
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  49.  1
    Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson (2015). Pure Time Preference: Reply to Johansson and Rosenqvist. Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 97 (2):n/a-n/a.
    Johansson and Rosenqvist reject our argument for the rational permissibility of pure time preferences. Johansson and Rosenqvist's main objection is that where two options, X and Y, have equal intrinsic value, there will be a reason to be indifferent between X and Y, and therefore a reason to not hold a PTP for X or Y. In this reply, we argue that if two options have equal intrinsic value, it does not follow that you have a reason to be indifferent. (...)
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  50.  27
    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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