Alan Hájek's research interests include the philosophical foundations of probability and decision theory, epistemology, the philosophy of science, metaphysics, and the philosophy of religion. His paper "What Conditional Probability Could Not Be" won the 2004 American Philosophical Association Article Prize for "the best article published in the previous two years" by a "younger scholar". The Philosopher's Annual selected his "Waging War on Pascal's Wager" as one of the ten best articles in philosophy in 2003.
He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities. He was the keynote speaker at the 2007 Chinese Analytic Philosophy Association conference, Wuhan (picture). He was the President of the Australasian Association of Philosophy in 2009-2010. He received the 2012 Award for Excellence in Supervision, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences. In 2013 he won the ANU-wide Vice-Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Supervision.
Click here for Hájek's interview on probability for The Philosopher's Zone, ABC National Radio. A transcript of the interview can be found here.
Click here for Hájek's radio interview for Radio National's Encounter show. (Part of a show on gambling, with several guests.)
Click here for a video of Hájek's talk "A Plea for the Improbable" given at the 2011 Singularity Summit.
Click here for a video of Hájek's talk "Staying Regular?" given at the 9th Formal Epistemology Workshop (FEW 2012).
Alan Hájek studied statistics and mathematics at the University of Melbourne (B.Sc. (Hons.) 1982), where he won the Dwight Prize in Statistics. He took an M.A. in philosophy at the University of Western Ontario (1986) and a Ph.D. in philosophy at Princeton University (1993), winning the Porter Ogden Jacobus fellowship, the highest honorific fellowship awarded by the Graduate School. He has taught at the University of Melbourne (1990) and at Caltech (1992-2004), where he received the Associated Students of California Institute of Technology Teaching Award (2004). He has also spent time as a visiting professor at MIT (1995), Auckland University (2000), Singapore Management University (2005), and Sun Yat-Sen University (2007). Hájek joined the Philosophy Program at RSSS, ANU, as Professor of Philosophy in February 2005.
The philosophical foundations of probability and decision theory, formal epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics, philosophy of language (especially conditionals), philosophical methodology, and philosophy of religion.
“Probability for Everyone – Even Philosophers” (with Christopher Hitchcock), forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, eds. Alan Hájek and Christopher Hitchcock, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
“Introduction” (with Christopher Hitchcock), forthcoming in the Oxford Handbook of Probability and Philosophy, eds. Alan Hájek and Christopher Hitchcock, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
“Philosophical Heuristics and Philosophical Methodology”, forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, eds. Herman Cappelin, Tamar Szabó Gendler, and John Hawthorne, Oxford University Press.
“Counterfactual Reasoning, Quantitative: Philosophical Aspects”, major revision, lengthening, and update of my 2002 article in: James D. Wright (editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social and Behavioral Sciences, 2nd edition, Vol. 5. Oxford: Elsevier, pp. 95-98.
“Pascal’s Ultimate Gamble”, in The Norton Introduction to Philosophy, eds. Gideon Rosen, Alex Byrne, Joshua Cohen, Seana Shiffrin, W. W. Norton.
“On the Plurality of Lewis’s Triviality Results”, in A Companion to David Lewis, eds. Barry Loewer and Jonathan Schaffer, Blackwell.
“Unexpected Expectations”, Mind 123 (490, April), 533-567.
“Probabilities of Counterfactuals and Counterfactual Probabilities”, Journal of Applied Logic 12 (3), 235-252. (Special volume on conditionals.)
“Declarations of Independence” (with Branden Fitelson), Synthese, 10.1007/s11229-014-0559-2.
“Heuristics for Philosophical Creativity”, in The Philosophy of Creativity, ed. Elliot Samuel Paul and Scott Barry Kaufman, Oxford University Press
“A Chancy ‘Magic Trick’”, in Chance and Temporal Asymmetry, ed. Alastair Wilson, Oxford University Press, 100-111
“Confirmation” (with James M. Joyce), update of 2008 article for the 2nd edition of the Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science, eds. Stathis Psillos and Martin Curd, Routledge.
“Saint Peter, Saint Petersburg, and Satan” (with Paul Bartha and John Barker), Synthese, December, DOI 10.1007/s11229-013-0379-9.
“Bayesianism (Recent Uses of)” (with John Cusbert), the Encyclopedia of Philosophy and the Social Sciences, Sage.
"Is Strict Coherence Strictly Coherent?", Dialectica 66 (3), 411-424, special issue on Bayesian and traditional epistemology.
"The Fall of Adams' Thesis", Journal of Language, Logic and Information 21 (2), 145-161, special issue on “Interpreting Probability”, eds. Timothy Childers and Ondrej Majer.
"Blaise and Bayes", Probability in the Philosophy of Religion, ed. Jake Chandler and Victoria Harrison, Oxford University Press.
"Conditional Probability is the Very Guide of Life", in Probability is the Very Guide of Life: The Philosophical Uses of Chance, eds. Henry Kyburg, Jr. and Mariam Thalos, Open Court. Abridged version in Proceedings of the International Society for Bayesian Analysis 2002.
“David Hume, David Lewis, and Decision Theory” (with Alex Byrne), Mind, Vol. 106, 411-428.
“The Illogic of Pascal's Wager”, Proceedings of the 10th Logica International Symposium, Liblice, ed. T. Childers et al, 239-249, Filosophia, The Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
“Full Belief and Probability: Comments on van Fraassen”, with William L. Harper, Dialogue (the Canadian Philosophical Review), Vol. 36, No. 1, (Winter), 91-100.
“The Fearless and Moderate Revision: Extending Lewis' Triviality Results”, Proceedings of the 9th Logica International Symposium, Liblice, ed. T. Childers et al, 171-178, Filosophia, The Institute of Philosophy of the Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic.
2014: Whitney J. Oates Fellow in the Humanities Council and Philosophy Department, Princeton University
2013: Vice Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Supervision, Australian National University (one prize given university-wide)
2012: Award for Excellence in Supervision, ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences (one prize given across the College)
2009-10: President of the Australasian Association of Philosophy
2007: Elected Fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities
2006: Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science Fellow
2004: American Philosophical Association Article Prize for “the best article published in the previous two years” by a “younger scholar”, for “What Conditional Probability Could Not Be”
2004: The Philosopher’s Annual selection of “Waging War on Pascal’s Wager” as one of the ten best articles in philosophy in 2003.
2004: Teaching Award (Associated Students of California Institute of Technology)
1991: Porter Ogden Jacobus Fellowship, Princeton University
The highest honorific fellowship awarded by the Graduate School, given annually to the student who, in the judgment of the Princeton University faculty, displayed the highest scholarly excellence among all Princeton graduate students, irrespective of department
1991: Whiting Fellowship
1985-86: Special University Scholarship, University of Western Ontario
1982: First Place and Dwight Prize for Statistics, University of Melbourne
Australasian Association of Philosophy
American Philosophical Association
Philosophy of Science Association
Australian Academy of the Humanities.
Projects and Grants
2012: Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant (with Rachael Briggs and Daniel Nolan), Decision Theory in Crisis: $300,000
2009: Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant, The Objects of Probabilities: $283,000
2006: Australian Research Council Discovery Project grant, The Mathematical and Philosophical Foundations of Probability: $160,000
2002: Center for Philosophy of Science Fellowship, Pittsburgh University
2002: Center for Theology and Natural Sciences, Science and Religion Course Program, Course Prize: US $10,000
Alan supervises many PhD candidates and Honours students. He has given Foundations courses for HDR students on Probability, Conditionals, and Formal Methods in Philosophy, and undergraduate lectures on various topics.