Christopher R. Hitchcock
J. O. and Juliette Koepfli Professor of Philosophy; Executive Officer for the Humanities
Philosophy of Science; Formal Epistemology; Metaphysics
Christopher Hitchcock's research is focused on causation. He explores the kinds of causal reasoning used in the sciences, law, and everyday life, examining how causal questions in science differ from those that arise in moral or legal domains. His research makes use of formal tools for causal modeling that have been developed by philosophers, computer scientists, statisticians, and epidemiologists. In addition to causation, Hitchcock has done work in a number of other areas of the philosophy of science, including the philosophy of biology and the confirmation of hypotheses by evidence. He also works in formal epistemology, which employs mathematical tools such as probability to represent belief, inference, and evidence. He has recently undertaken a collaborative project in formal epistemology that involves modeling agreement and disagreement between individuals.
Before joining Caltech, Hitchcock was on the faculty at Rice University from 1993 to 1998. He's had three articles selected by The Philosopher's Annual as among the year's 10 best in the field of philosophy (in 1995, 2001, and 2003). He has also received the Recent Ph.D. Essay Award from the Philosophy of Science Association, given for the best paper by a recent Ph.D. (in 1997–1998). He served on the governing board of the Philosophy of Science Association from 2002 to 2005 and is currently the president of the Society for Exact Philosophy.