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Engineering Ethics


The Ethics of Technology: A Geometric Analysis of Five Moral Principles (Oxford UP 2017) develops an analytic ethics of technology inspired by recent work on conceptual spaces. You can read more about the book here, and here is a follow-up paper on the same topic (with Steven Verheyen). My most recent book on technology and ethics is Ethics for Engineers (Oxford UP 2019).

Here is a blog post on the Boeing 737 Max case. 

Moral Philosophy


In The Dimensions of Consequentialism (Cambridge UP 2013) I introduce and defend a distinction between multidimensional and one-dimensional consequentialism. You can read a free excerpt on CUP's webpage. Here is a review in Ethics and here is another in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews. In November 2013 the book was discussed at a two-day conference in Konstanz, Germany. Ethical Theory and Moral Practice published a special issue with papers from the workshop in February 2016.


Decision Theory


An Introduction to Decision Theory is an undergraduate textbook (Cambridge UP, 1st ed 2009, 2nd ed 2017). Here is a proof of the von Neumann-Morgenstern theorem, which was omitted in the 2nd edition to make space for a new chapter on risk aversion. Here is a review of the 1st edition in Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews and here is an errata list for the 2nd edition.

A couple of years ago I edited a volume on The Prisoner's Dilemma. (Cambridge University Press 2015.) You can read an excerpt here, and here is a review. Here is a second and a third one.  In my research monograph Non-Bayesian Decision Theory (Springer 2008) I defend my favorite non-Bayesian account of decision theory against its Bayesian rivals. Here is a review in Economics and Philosophy.


News & Publications

March 2019

"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...."


July 2017

"Autonomous cars, drones, and electronic surveillance systems are examples of technologies that raise serious ethical issues. In this analytic investigation, Martin 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...."


I am Professor of Philosophy and Sue G. and Harry E. Bovay Jr. Professor of the History and Ethics of Professional Engineering in the Department of Philosophy at Texas A&M University.


My research interests are engineering ethics, decision theory and normative ethics (consequentialism).


Prior to coming to Texas A&M, I was a professor at Eindhoven University of Technology. Prior to that I worked for three years at Cambridge University. I received my Ph.D. in philosophy from the KTH Royal Institute of Technology.


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March 2017

"Now revised and updated, this introduction to decision theory is both accessible and comprehensive, covering topics including 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....."

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