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The Australian National University

Alan Hájek

Position: Professor of Philosophy

Email: alan.hajek@anu.edu.au
Phone: 6125 2146, x 52146
Location: HC Coombs Building, Room 2229

Website: My profile website

Qualification:

PhD (Princeton University)

MA (Princeton University)

MA (University of Western Ontario)

B.Sc. (Hons.) (University of Melbourne)

Profile

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 CV.

Click here for Hájek's 2010 AAP Presidential Address 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 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).

Biography

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.

Research Interests

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.

Publications

In Progress:

Manuscript in progress: "Staying Regular?"

Monograph in progress: "Most Counterfactuals Are False"

Forthcoming:

  • “Creating Heuristics for Philosophical Creativity”, forthcoming in Creativity and Philosophy, eds. Berys Gaut and Matthew Kieran, Oxford University Press.
  • “Deliberation Welcomes Prediction”, forthcoming in Episteme.
  • “Hysteresis Hypotheses”, forthcoming in Conditionals, Probability, and Paradox: Themes from the Philosophy of Dorothy Edgington, eds. John Hawthorne and Lee Walters, Oxford University Press.
  • “In Praise of Philosophy”, forthcoming in a joint publication of the Australian Academy of Humanities and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, ed. John Makeham (title TBD).

2016

  • “Making Ado Without Expectations” (with Mark Colyvan), Mind 125 (499), 829–857.
  • “Minkish Dispositions”, Synthese, doi:10.1007/s11229-015-1011-y.
  • “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.

2015

  • “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.

2014

  • “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

2013                               

  • “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.

2012

  • "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, http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/ (Substantive revision of 2007 article.)

2011

2010

2009

2008

  • "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.)

2007

2006

2005

  • "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.

2004

  • "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.

2003

2002

2001

2000

  • “Objecting Vaguely to Pascal's Wager”, Philosophical Studies, Vol. 98 (1), March, 1-16.

1998

  • “Agnosticism Meets Bayesianism”, Analysis, Vol. 58 No. 3, 199-206.

1997

  • “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.

1996

  • “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.

  • “ ‘Mises Redux’—Redux: Fifteen Arguments Against Finite Frequentism”, Erkenntnis, Vol. 45, 209-227.

  • Reprinted in Probability, Dynamics and Causality – Essays in Honor of Richard C. Jeffrey, D. Costantini and M. Galavotti (eds.), Kluwer.

  • Reprinted in Philosophy of Probability: Contemporary Readings, ed. Antony Eagle, Routledge 2011.

1995

  • “In Defense of Hume's Balancing of Probabilities in the Miracles Argument”, Southwest Philosophy Review, Vol. 11, Number 1, (January), 111-118.

1994

  • “Triviality on the Cheap?”, in Probability and Conditionals, ed. Ellery Eells and Brian Skyrms, Cambridge University Press, 113-140.

  • “The Hypothesis of the Conditional Construal of Conditional Probability”, (with Ned Hall) in Probability and Conditionals, ed. Ellery Eells and Brian Skyrms, Cambridge University Press, 75-111.

1992

  • “EPR” (with Jeffrey Bub), Foundations of Physics, Vol. 21, Festschrift for Sir Karl Popper, 313-332

  • “Nuke 'Em Problems”, Analysis Vol. 51, No. 4, 254-264

  • Translated into Polish as "Zwierciadlo Meduzy", in Filozofia Moralnosci (Philosophy of Morality), Aletheia Foundation Publishing House, Poland 1997.

1989

  • “Probabilities of Conditionals—Revisited”, Journal of Philosophical Logic Vol. 18, No. 4, 423-428.

PhD dissertation

 

Awards

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

Memberships

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

Teaching

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.

Updated: 15 August 2016/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher