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Martin Peterson [85]Martin B. Peterson [1]
  1. An introduction to decision theory.Martin Peterson - 2009 - 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 (...)
  2. The Dimensions of Consequentialism: Ethics, Equality and Risk.Martin Peterson - 2013 - Cambridge: 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 (...)
  3.  23
    The Ethics of Technology: A Geometric Analysis of Five Moral Principles.Martin Peterson - 2017 - New York, USA: Oxford University Press.
    In this analytically oriented work, Peterson articulates and defends five moral principles for addressing ethical issues related to new and existing technologies: the cost-benefit principle, the precautionary principle, the sustainability principle, the autonomy principle, and the fairness principle.
  4. The modal account of luck revisited.J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2175-2184.
    According to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck [e.g. Pritchard (2005)], 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 distributed (...)
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  5. An introduction to decision theory.Martin Peterson - 2010 - Bulletin of Symbolic Logic 16 (3):413-415.
     
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  6.  80
    Pure time preference.Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson - 2011 - 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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  7. The Reliability of Armchair Intuitions.Krist Vaesen, Martin Peterson & Bart Van Bezooijen - 2013 - 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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  8.  60
    Is the Precautionary Principle a Midlevel Principle?Per Sandin & Martin Peterson - 2019 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 22 (1):34-48.
    In this article, we defend two claims about the precautionary principle. The first is that there is no ‘core’ precautionary principle that unifies all its different versions. It is more plausible to think of the different versions as being related to each other by way of family resemblances. So although precautionary principle x may have much in common with precautionary principle y, and y with z, there is no set of necessary and sufficient conditions that unify all versions of the (...)
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  9. Why virtual friendship is no genuine friendship.Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson - 2012 - 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.  70
    Ethics for engineers.Martin Peterson - 2019 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    An essential all-in-one introduction, Ethics for Engineers provides in-depth coverage of major ethical theories, professional codes of ethics, and case studies in a single volume. Incorporating numerous practical examples and about 100 review questions, it helps students better understand and address ethical issues that they may face in their future careers. Topics covered include whistle-blowing, the problem of many hands, gifts, bribes, conflicts of interest, engineering and environmental ethics, privacy and computer ethics, ethical technology assessment, and the ethics of cost-benefit (...)
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  11. Is there an ethics of algorithms?Martin Peterson - 2011 - 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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  12. The Role of Non-Epistemic Values in Engineering Models.Sven Diekmann & Martin Peterson - 2013 - 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. Can Technological Artefacts Be Moral Agents?Martin Peterson - 2011 - 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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  15. Parity, clumpiness and rational choice.Martin Peterson - 2007 - 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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  16.  37
    Moral Rightness Comes in Degrees.Martin Peterson - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (4):645-664.
    This article questions the traditional view that moral rightness and wrongness are discrete predicates with sharp boundaries. I contend that moral rightness and wrongness come in degrees: Some acts are somewhat rightandsomewhat wrong. My argument is based on the assumption that meaning tracks use. If an overwhelming majority of competent language users frequently say that some acts are a bit right and a bit wrong, this indicates that rightness and wrongnessaregradable concepts. To support the empirical part of the argument I (...)
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  17. On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle.J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson - 2015 - 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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  18.  87
    Animal Ethics Based on Friendship.Barbro Frööding & Martin Peterson - 2011 - Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (1):58-69.
    This article discusses some aspects of animal ethics from an Aristotelian virtue ethics point of view. Because the notion of friendship (philia) is central to Aristotle’s ethical theory, the focus of the article is whether humans and animals can be friends. It is argued that new empirical findings in cognitive ethology indicate that animals actually do fulfill the Aristotelian condition for friendship based on mutual advantage. The practical ethical implications of these findings are discussed, and it is argued that eating (...)
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  19.  67
    Friendly AI.Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson - 2020 - Ethics and Information Technology 23 (3):207-214.
    In this paper we discuss what we believe to be one of the most important features of near-future AIs, namely their capacity to behave in a friendly manner to humans. Our analysis of what it means for an AI to behave in a friendly manner does not presuppose that proper friendships between humans and AI systems could exist. That would require reciprocity, which is beyond the reach of near-future AI systems. Rather, we defend the claim that social AIs should be (...)
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  20. A Royal Road to Consequentialism?Martin Peterson - 2010 - 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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  21. The value alignment problem: a geometric approach.Martin Peterson - 2019 - Ethics and Information Technology 21 (1):19-28.
    Stuart Russell defines the value alignment problem as follows: How can we build autonomous systems with values that “are aligned with those of the human race”? In this article I outline some distinctions that are useful for understanding the value alignment problem and then propose a solution: I argue that the methods currently applied by computer scientists for embedding moral values in autonomous systems can be improved by representing moral principles as conceptual spaces, i.e. as Voronoi tessellations of morally similar (...)
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  22.  44
    Prospectism and the weak money pump argument.Martin Peterson - 2015 - Theory and Decision 78 (3):451-456.
    Hare proposes a view he calls prospectism for making choices in situations in which preferences have a common, but problematic structure. I show that prospectism permits the decision-maker to make a series of choices she knows in advance will lead to a sure loss. I also argue that a theory that permits the decision-maker to make choices she knows in advance will lead to a sure loss should be rejected.
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  23. The Last Man Argument Revisited.Martin Peterson & Per Sandin - 2013 - Journal of Value Inquiry 47 (1-2):121-133.
  24. On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle: Reply to Steglich-Petersen.J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson - 2016 - 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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  25. Cost-benefit analysis and non-utilitarian ethics.Rosemary Lowry & Martin Peterson - 2012 - 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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  26.  65
    Consequentialism in infinite worlds.Adam Jonsson & Martin Peterson - 2020 - Analysis 80 (2):240-248.
    We show that in infinite worlds the following three conditions are incompatible: The spatiotemporal ordering of individuals is morally irrelevant. All else being equal, the act of bringing about a good outcome with a high probability is better than the act of bringing about the same outcome with a low probability. One act is better than another only if there is a nonzero probability that it brings about a better outcome. The impossibility of combining these conditions shows that it is (...)
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  27.  54
    Can we Use Conceptual Spaces to Model Moral Principles?Steven Verheyen & Martin Peterson - 2020 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 12 (2):373-395.
    Can the theory of conceptual spaces developed by Peter Gärdenfors and others be applied to moral issues? Martin Peterson argues that several moral principles can be construed as regions in a shared similarity space, but Kristin Shrader-Frechette and Gert-Jan Lokhorst question Peterson’s claim. They argue that the moral similarity judgments used to construct the space are underspecified and subjective. In this paper, we present new data indicating that moral principles can indeed be construed as regions in a multidimensional conceptual space (...)
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  28.  56
    The Anti‐Nihilist Wager.Martin Peterson - 2018 - Dialectica 72 (4):597-602.
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  29.  71
    Safety is more than the antonym of risk.Niklas Möller, Sven Ove Hansson & Martin Peterson - 2006 - Journal of Applied Philosophy 23 (4):419–432.
    abstract Even though much research has been devoted to studies of safety, the concept of safety is in itself under‐theorised, especially concerning its relation to epistemic uncertainty. In this paper we propose a conceptual analysis of safety. The paper explores the distinc‐tion between absolute and relative safety, as well as that between objective and subjective safety. Four potential dimensions of safety are discussed, viz. harm, probability, epistemic uncertainty, and control. The first three of these are used in the proposed definition (...)
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  30. The Mixed Solution to the Number Problem.Martin Peterson - 2009 - 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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  31. Virtuous Choice and Parity.Martin Peterson & Barbro Fröding - 2012 - 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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  32. Not Knowing a Cat is a Cat: Analyticity and Knowledge Ascriptions.J. Adam Carter, Martin Peterson & Bart van Bezooijen - 2016 - 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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  33.  16
    Not Knowing a Cat is a Cat: Analyticity and Knowledge Ascriptions.Bart Bezooijen, Martin Peterson & J. Carter - 2016 - 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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  34.  80
    The moral importance of selecting people randomly.Martin Peterson - 2008 - 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.  42
    The Deontic Transfer Principle.Martin Peterson & Christian Seidel - 2021 - Erkenntnis 86 (5):1185-1195.
    The Deontic Transfer Principle states that if it is permissible for a person A to cause another person B harm H then, other things being equal, it is permissible for A to impose a risk of harm H on B. In this article we show that the Deontic Transfer Principle is vulnerable to counterexamples, and that the same is true of a range of closely related principles. We conclude that the deontic status of a risk imposition is not directly inherited (...)
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  36.  79
    Some Versions of the Number Problem Have No Solution.Martin Peterson - 2010 - 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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  37.  38
    The Ethics of Technology: Response to Critics.Martin Peterson - 2018 - Science and Engineering Ethics 24 (5):1645-1652.
    The Ethics of Technology: A Geometric Analysis of Five Moral Principles proposes five moral principles for analyzing ethical issues related to engineering and technology. The objections raised by several authors to the multidimensional scaling technique used in the book reveal a lack of familiarity with this widely used technique.
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  38.  68
    Nuclear Power is Neither Right Nor Wrong: The Case for a Tertium Datur in the Ethics of Technology.Rafaela Hillerbrand & Martin Peterson - 2014 - 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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  39.  43
    Why computer games can be essential for human flourishing.Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson - 2013 - Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society 11 (2):81-91.
    – The purpose of this paper is to argue that playing computer games for lengthy periods of time, even in a manner that will force the player to forgo certain other activities normally seen as more important, can be an integral part of human flourishing., – The authors' claim is based on a modern reading of Aristotle's Nichomacean Ethics. It should be emphasized that the authors do not argue that computer gaming and other similar online activities are central to all (...)
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  40.  41
    How to depolarise the ethical debate over human embryonic stem cell research (and other ethical debates too!).Nicolas Espinoza & Martin Peterson - 2012 - Journal of Medical Ethics 38 (8):496-500.
    The contention of this paper is that the current ethical debate over embryonic stem cell research is polarised to an extent that is not warranted by the underlying ethical conflict. It is argued that the ethical debate can be rendered more nuanced, and less polarised, by introducing non-binary notions of moral rightness and wrongness. According to the view proposed, embryonic stem cell research—and possibly other controversial activities too—can be considered ‘a little bit right and a little bit wrong’. If this (...)
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  41.  58
    The Dimensions of Consequentialism: Reply to Schmidt, Brown, Howard-Snyder, Crisp, Andric and Tanyi, and Gertken.Martin Peterson - 2016 - 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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  42.  30
    Animals and Friendship: A Reply to Rowlands.Barbro Fröding & Martin Peterson - 2011 - Journal of Animal Ethics 1 (2):187-189.
    Can humans be friends with animals? If so, what would the moral implications of such friendship be? In a previous issue of this journal, we argued that humans can indeed be friends with animals and that such friendships are morally valuable. The present article is a comment on Mark Rowlands’s reply to our original article. We argue that our original argument is not undermined by Rowlands’s attack.
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  43. A Computer Simulation of the Argument from Disagreement.Johan E. Gustafsson & Martin Peterson - 2012 - 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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  44.  47
    Indeterminate Preferences.Martin Peterson - 2006 - 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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  45.  65
    An argument for the principle of maximizing expected utility.Martin Peterson - 2002 - Theoria 68 (2):112-128.
    The main result of this paper is a formal argument for the principle of maximizing expected utility that does not rely on the law of large numbers. Unlike the well-known arguments by Savage and von Neumann & Morgenstern, this argument does not presuppose the sure-thing principle or the independence axiom. The principal idea is to use the concept of transformative decision rules for decomposing the principle of maximizing expected utility into a sequence of normatively reasonable subrules. It is shown that (...)
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  46.  27
    New Technologies Should not be Treated as Social Experiments.Martin B. Peterson - 2013 - Ethics, Policy and Environment 16 (3):346-348.
    Van de Poel argues that nuclear power should be treated as an ongoing social experiment that needs to be continuously monitored and evaluated. In his reports (2009; Jacobs, Van de Poel, & Os...
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  47. A New Twist to the St. Petersburg Paradox.Martin Peterson - 2011 - 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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  48. Equality and priority.Martin Peterson & Sven Ove Hansson - 2005 - 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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  49.  65
    From outcomes to acts: A non-standard axiomatization of the expected utility principle.Martin Peterson - 2004 - 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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  50.  81
    Risk and mid-level moral principles.Nicolas Espinoza & Martin Peterson - 2010 - 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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