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The Australian National University

Alan Hájek

Phone: x52146
Location: Rm 2229

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. 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), and Singapore Management University (2005). Hájek joined the Philosophy Program at RSSS, ANU, as Professor of Philosophy in February 2005.

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 curriculum vitae and publications.

Click here for Hájek's 2010 AAP Presidential Address (if you do not have windows you may need to right click and 'save as' before opening it) and click here for accompanying slides.

Click here for Hájek's interview with the Canberra Times.

Click here for Hájek's lecture "All Values Great and Small" at the Causation and Decision Theory conference.

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 Studium Generale public address in Groningen entitled "A Plea for the Improbable". Powerpoint slides 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).

Selected publications 

NB. see CV for a more up-to-date list. 

"Philosophical Heuristics and Philosophical Methodology", forthcoming in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology, eds. Herman Cappelin, Tamar Gendler, and John Hawthorne, Oxford University Press.

“Heuristics for Philosophical Creativity”, forthcoming in The Philosophy of Creativity, ed. Elliot Samuel Paul and Scott Barry Kaufman, Oxford University Press.

Manuscript in progress: "Staying Regular?"

Monograph in progress: "Most Counterfactuals Are False"


  • "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.
  • "Pascal's Wager", invited contribution to The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, ed. Edward N. Zalta, (Substantive revision of 2007 article.)





  • "Complex Expectations" (with Harris Nover), Mind 117 (July), 643-664.
  • "David Lewis"The New Dictionary of Scientific Biography, ed. Noretta Koertke, Scribner's.
  • "Dutch Book Arguments", in The Oxford Handbook of Rational and Social Choice, ed. Paul Anand, Prasanta Pattanaik, and Clemens Puppe. Oxford University Press. 2008.
  • "A Philosopher's Guide to Probability", in Uncertainty: Multi-disciplinary Perspectives on Risk, Earthscan (the Goolabri symposium organized by Gabriele Bammer and Michael Smithson), 2008.
  • "Are Miracles Chimerical?", in Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Religion, ed. Jon Kvanvig. [scanned version]
  • "Probability - A Philosophical Overview", in Current Issues in the Philosophy of Mathematics From the Perspective of Mathematicians, ed. Bonnie Gold, Mathematical Association of America.
  • "Arguments For - Or Against - Probabilism?" 
    The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 59 (December), 793-819. 
    Also in Degrees of Belief, eds. Franz Huber and Christoph Schmidt-Petri, Springer, 2009. 229-251. [ this version ]
  • "Confirmation" (with James M. Joyce), in the Routledge Companion to the Philosophy of Science, eds. Stathis Psillos and Martin Curd, 2008.
  • InterviewEpistemology: 5 Questions, eds. Vincent F. Hendricks and Duncan Pritchard, Automatic Press, 2008.
  • "Pascal's Wager"The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008 edition), ed. E. Zalta. (Substantive revision of original 1998 article.)




  • "The Cable Guy Paradox"Analysis, Vol. 65, No. 4, April 2005.
  • "Probability" (with Branden Fitelson and Ned Hall), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy of Science, eds. Jessica Pfeiffer, Sherri Rausch, and Sahotra Sarkar, Routledge.
  • "Scotching Dutch Books?"Philosophical Perspectives 19 (issue on Epistemology), ed. John Hawthorne.


  • "Vexing Expectations" (with Harris Nover), Mind, Vol. 113, April 2004, 237-249.
  • "Desire Beyond Belief" (with Philip Pettit), Australasian Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 82, March 2004, 77-92.
    • Reprinted in Lewisian Themes: the Philosophy of David K. Lewis, eds. Frank Jackson and Graham Priest, Oxford University Press, 2004, 78-93.
  • "Probability", the New Dictionary of the History of Ideas, Charles  Scribner's Sons, 2004.




PhD dissertation


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