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Profile: Steve Petersen (Niagara University)
  1.  33
    Composition as Pattern.Steve Petersen - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies.
    I argue for *patternism*, a new answer to the question of when some objects compose a whole. None of the standard principles of composition comfortably capture our natural judgments, such as that my cat exists and my table exists, but there is nothing wholly composed of them. Patternism holds, very roughly, that some things compose a whole whenever together they form a "real pattern". Plausibly we are inclined to acknowledge the existence of my cat and my table but not of (...)
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  2.  6
    Superintelligence as Superethical.Steve Petersen - 2017 - In Patrick Lin, Keith Abney & Ryan Jenkins (eds.), Robot Ethics 2.0. New York, USA: Oxford University Press. pp. 322-337.
    Nick Bostrom's book *Superintelligence* outlines a frightening but realistic scenario for human extinction: true artificial intelligence is likely to bootstrap itself into superintelligence, and thereby become ideally effective at achieving its goals. Human-friendly goals seem too abstract to be pre-programmed with any confidence, and if those goals are *not* explicitly favorable toward humans, the superintelligence will extinguish us---not through any malice, but simply because it will want our resources for its own purposes. In response I argue that things might not (...)
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  3.  3
    Is It Good for Them Too? Ethical Concern for the Sexbots.Steve Petersen - 2017 - In John Danaher & Neil McArthur (eds.), Sex Robots: Philosophical, Ethical, and Social Implications. Cambridge, USA: MIT Press. pp. 155-171.
    In this chapter I'd like to focus on a small corner of sexbot ethics that is rarely considered elsewhere: the question of whether and when being a sexbot might be good---or bad---*for the sexbot*. You might think this means you are in for a dry sermon about the evils of robot slavery. If so, you'd be wrong; the ethics of robot servitude are far more complicated than that. In fact, if the arguments here are right, designing a robot to serve (...)
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  4.  5
    Toward an Algorithmic Metaphysics.Steve Petersen - 2013 - In David Dowe (ed.), Algorithmic Probability and Friends: Bayesian Prediction and Artificial Intelligence. Springer. pp. 306-317.
    There are writers in both metaphysics and algorithmic information theory (AIT) who seem to think that the latter could provide a formal theory of the former. This paper is intended as a step in that direction. It demonstrates how AIT might be used to define basic metaphysical notions such as *object* and *property* for a simple, idealized world. The extent to which these definitions capture intuitions about the metaphysics of the simple world, times the extent to which we think the (...)
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  5.  6
    A Normative Yet Coherent Naturalism.Steve Petersen - 2014 - Philo 17 (1):77-91.
    Naturalism is normally taken to be an ideology, censuring non-naturalistic alternatives. But as many critics have pointed out, this ideological stance looks internally incoherent, since it is not obviously endorsed by naturalistic methods. Naturalists who have addressed this problem universally foreswear the normative component of naturalism by, in effect, giving up science’s exclusive claim to legitimacy. This option makes naturalism into an empty expression of personal preference that can carry no weight in the philosophical or political spheres. In response to (...)
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