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  • 1.
    Fröding, Barbro
    et al.
    Faculty of philosophy, University of Oxford.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Animal Ethics Based on Friendship2011In: Journal of Animal Ethics, ISSN 2156-5414, Vol. 1, no 1, p. 58-69Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 2.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy.
    An argument for the principle of maximizing expected utility2008In: Theoria, ISSN 0040-5825, E-ISSN 1755-2567, Vol. 38, no 2, p. 112-128Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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 this procedure provides a resolution of Allais's paradox that cannot be obtained by Savage-style or von Neumann & Morgenstern-style arguments.

  • 3.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    Axiomatic arguments for the principle of maximizing expected utility: two approachesManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 4.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, History of Science and Technology.
    From consequentialism to utilitarianism2003In: Journal of Philosophy, ISSN 0022-362X, E-ISSN 1939-8549, Vol. 100, no 8, p. 403-415Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 5.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    From Outcomes to Acts: A Non-Standard Axiomatization of the Expected Utility Principle2004In: Journal of Philosophical Logic, ISSN 0022-3611, E-ISSN 1573-0433, Vol. 33, no 4, p. 361-378Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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 of the theory and the decision maker's preferences among risky acts on the output side.

  • 6. Peterson, Martin
    Indeterminate preferences2006In: Philosophical Studies, ISSN 0031-8116, E-ISSN 1573-0883, Vol. 130, no 2, p. 297-320Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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 Rabinowicz's recent criticism.

  • 7.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    New Technologies And The Ethics Of Extreme Risks2001In: Ends and meansArticle in journal (Refereed)
  • 8.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    Rival Representations of Decision ProblemsManuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
  • 9. Peterson, Martin
    Should the precautionary principle guide our actions or our beliefs?2007In: Journal of Medical Ethics, ISSN 0306-6800, E-ISSN 1473-4257, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 5-10Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Two interpretations of the precautionary principle are considered. According to the normative (action-guiding) interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges doctors and other decision makers to do. According to the epistemic (belief-guiding) interpretation, the precautionary principle should be characterised in terms of what it urges us to believe. This paper recommends against the use of the precautionary principle as a decision rule in medical decision making, based on an impossibility theorem presented in Peterson ( 2005). However, the main point of the paper is an argument to the effect that decision theoretical problems associated with the precautionary principle can be overcome by paying greater attention to its epistemic dimension. Three epistemic principles inherent in a precautionary approach to medical risk analysis are characterised and defended.

  • 10.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    The limits of catastrophe aversion2002In: Risk Analysis, ISSN 0272-4332, E-ISSN 1539-6924, Vol. 22, no 3, p. 527-538Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    We discuss the management of catastrophe-risks from a theoretical point of view. The concept of a catastrophe is informally and formally defined, and a number of desiderata for catastrophe-averse decision rules are introduced. However, the proposed desiderata turn out to be mutually inconsistent. As a consequence of this result, it is argued that the "rigid" form of catastrophe aversion articulated by, for example, the maximin rule, the maximum probable loss rule, (some versions of) the precautionary principle, and the rule proposed in Ekenberg et al. (1997, 2000) should be given up. An alternative form of "non-rigid" catastrophe aversion is considered.

  • 11.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    The Mixed Solution to the Number Problem2009In: Journal of Moral Philosophy, ISSN 1740-4681, E-ISSN 1745-5243, Vol. 6, no 2, p. 166-177Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    You must either save a group of m people or a group of n people. If there are no morally relevant differences among the people, which group should you save? This problem is known as the number problem. The 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, and the probability of saving n people is n/m + n. This contribution examines a fourth alternative, the mixed solution, according to which both fairness and the total number of people saved count. It is shown that the mixed solution can be defended without assuming the possibility of interpersonal comparisons of value.

  • 12. Peterson, Martin
    The precautionary principle is incoherent2006In: Risk Analysis, ISSN 0272-4332, E-ISSN 1539-6924, Vol. 26, no 3, p. 595-601Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    This article argues that no version of the precautionary principle can be reasonably applied to decisions that may lead to fatal outcomes. In support of this strong claim, a number of desiderata are proposed, which reasonable rules for rational decision making ought to satisfy. Thereafter, two impossibility theorems are proved, showing that no version of the precautionary principle can satisfy the proposed desiderata. These theorems are directly applicable to recent discussions of the precautionary principle in medicine, biotechnology, environmental management, and related fields. The impossibility theorems do not imply, however, that the precautionary principle is of no relevance at all in policy discussions. Even if it is not a reasonable rule for rational decision making, it is possible to interpret the precautionary principle in other ways, e.g., as an argumentative tool or as an epistemic principle favoring a reversed burden of proof.

  • 13.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    Transformative decision rules2003In: Erkenntnis, ISSN 0165-0106, E-ISSN 1572-8420, Vol. 58, no 1, p. 71-85Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    A transformative decision rule transforms a given decision problem into another by altering the structure of the initial problem, either by changing the framing or by modifying the probability or value assignments. Examples of decision rules belonging this class are the principle of insufficient reason, Isaac Levi's condition of E-admissibility, the de minimis rule, and the precautionary principle. In the papers some foundational issues concerning transformative decision rules are investigated, and a couple of formal properties of this class of rules are proved.

  • 14.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    Transformative decision rules and axiomatic arguments for the principle of Maximizing Expected Utility2001Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
  • 15.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    Transformative Decision Rules: Foundations and Applications2003Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
    Abstract [en]

    A transformative decision rule alters the representation of a decisionproblem, either by changing the sets of acts and states taken intoconsideration, or by modifying the probability or value assignments.Examples of decision rules belonging to this class are the principleof insufficient reason, Isaac Levi’s condition of E-admissibility, Luceand Raiffa’s merger of states-rule, and the de minimis principle. Inthis doctoral thesis transformative decision rules are analyzed froma foundational point of view, and applied to two decision theoreticalproblems: (i) How should a rational decision maker model a decisionproblem in a formal representation (‘problem specification’, ‘formaldescription’)? (ii) What role can transformative decision rules play inthe justification of the principle of maximizing expected utility?The thesis consists of a summary and seven papers. In Papers Iand II certain foundational issues concerning transformative decisionrules are investigated, and a number of formal properties of this classof rules are proved: convergence, iterativity, and permutability. InPaper III it is argued that there is in general no unique representationof a decision problem that is strictly better than all alternative representations.In Paper IV it is shown that the principle of maximizingexpected utility can be decomposed into a sequence of transformativedecision rules. A set of axioms is proposed that together justify theprinciple of maximizing expected utility. It is shown that the suggestedaxiomatization provides a resolution of Allais’ paradox that cannot beobtained by Savage-style, nor by von Neumann and Morgenstern-styleaxiomatizations. In Paper V the axiomatization from Paper IV is furtherelaborated, and compared to the axiomatizations proposed byvon Neumann and Morgenstern, and Savage. The main results in PaperVI are two impossibility theorems for catastrophe averse decisionrules, demonstrating that given a few reasonable desiderata for suchrules, there is no rule that can fulfill the proposed desiderata. In PaperVII transformative decision rules are applied to extreme risks, i.e.to a potential outcome of an act for which the probability is low, butwhose (negative) value is high.

  • 16.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, Superseded Departments, Infrastructure.
    Transformative decision rules, permutability, and non-sequential framing of decision problems2004In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 139, no 3, p. 387-403Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The concept of transformative decision rules provides a useful tool for analyzing what is often referred to as the 'framing', or 'problem specification', or 'editing' phase of decision making. In the present study we analyze a fundamental aspect of transformative decision rules, viz. permutability. A set of transformative decision rules is, roughly put, permutable just in case it does not matter in which order the rules are applied. It is argued that in order to be normatively reasonable, sets of transformative decision rules have to satisfy a number of structural conditions that together imply permutability. This formal result gives support to a non-sequential theory of framing, i.e., a theory which prescribes no uniform order in which different steps in the framing process have to be performed.

  • 17.
    Peterson, Martin B.
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Order-Independent transformative decision rules2006In: Uncertainty, Rationality, and Agency, Springer Netherlands, 2006, p. 269-288Chapter in book (Other academic)
    Abstract [en]

    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 that the proposed axiomatization resolves a problem observed by Teddy Seidenfeld in a previous axiomatization by Peterson.

  • 18.
    Peterson, Martin
    et al.
    KTH, Superseded Departments, History of Science and Technology.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, Superseded Departments, History of Science and Technology.
    On the application of rights-based moral theories to siting controversies2004In: Journal of Risk Research, ISSN 1366-9877, E-ISSN 1466-4461, Vol. 7, no 2, p. 269-275Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we discuss how rights-based moral theories can increase our understanding of siting controversies. It is argued that the notion of residual obligations can be used to overcome, at least in part, the conflict between the individual right not to be exposed to involuntary risks arising from e.g. the establishment of a new industry, and the rights of industries and other large organizations to build plants that are associated with risks for people living nearby. Use is made of a typology of residual obligations according to which the types are obligations to compensate, to communicate, to improve, to search for knowledge, and to have an appropriate attitude. Each of these types of residual obligations can be shown to be relevant in siting controversies.

  • 19.
    Pettersson, Martin
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, Philosophy.
    Order-independent transformative decision rules2005In: Synthese, ISSN 0039-7857, E-ISSN 1573-0964, Vol. 147, no 2, p. 323-342Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    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 that the proposed axiomatization resolves a problem observed by Teddy Seidenfeld in a previous axiomatization by Peterson.

  • 20.
    Wikman-Svahn, Per
    et al.
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Peterson, Martin
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Hansson, Sven Ove
    KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology.
    Principles of protection: a formal approach for evaluating dose distribution2006In: Journal of Radiological Protection, ISSN 0952-4746, E-ISSN 1361-6498, Vol. 26, no 1, p. 69-84Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

     One of the central issues in radiation protection consists in determining what weight should be given to individual doses in relation to collective or aggregated doses. A mathematical framework is introduced in which such assessments can be made precisely in terms of comparisons between alternative distributions of individual doses. In addition to evaluation principles that are well known from radiation protection, a series of principles that are derived from parallel discussions in moral philosophy and welfare economics is investigated. A battery of formal properties is then used to investigate the evaluative principles. The results indicate that one of the new principles, bilinear prioritarianism, may be preferable to current practices, since it satisfies efficiency-related properties better without sacrificing other desirable properties.

1 - 20 of 20
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