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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Philosophy, Science and the Sciences

Christopher Izgin

Photo: Tim Y. Krull
Thesis: The Principle of Excluded Middle in Aristotle

Research on Aristotle’s axioms has centered primarily on the principle of non-contradiction. Until today, however, a thorough account of the principle of excluded middle (PEM) appears to be missing. My dissertation is intended to fill this gap in research on ancient theoretical philosophy. My doctoral supervisors are Jonathan Beere (Professor of Ancient Philosophy and History of Knowledge at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin) and Marko Malink (Professor of Philosophy and Classics at New York University).
PEM occurs in an ontological and a semantic version. The ontological version says everything either is (such-and-so) or is not (such-and-so). The semantic version occurs in a positive and a negative formulation: the positive formulation says it is necessary that (at least) one member of the contradictory pair be true; the negative formulation says it is impossible that both members of the contradictory pair be false—tertium non datur. I focus on questions such as the following: What is the relation between the ontological and the semantic version of PEM? What is the relation between PEM and other Aristotelian principles, such as the principle of non-contradiction? Are there any exceptions to PEM, such as future contingents? What is PEM’s place within Aristotle’s ontology and syllogistic? And how does Aristotle argue against those who deny PEM in Meta­physics Γ.7?

 

CV

Research Interests

AoS Ancient Philosophy (especially Philosophy of Language, Logic, Metaphysics), Aristotle
AoC Analytical Philosophy (especially Philosophy of Language, Philosophical Logic, Metaphysics), Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein, Ancient and Medieval Commentators on Aristotle

Academic Education

since 10/2019 Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Research Training Group “Philosophy, Science and the Sciences”)
04/2017–10/2018 M.A. in Classics at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
04/2014–02/2018 M.A. in Philosophy at Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
10/2010–11/2013 B.A. in German Linguistics and Scandinavian Studies at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Grants and Fellowships

since 04/2020 Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation), doctoral scholarship
10/2019–09/2022 Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG), doctoral fellowship
12/2016–03/2017 Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation), research grant for a stay in New York under the supervision of Marko Malink (Professor of Philosophy and Classics at NYU), second reviewer of my master’s thesis in Philosophy
10/2009–10/2018 Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation), full scholarship (with a break between 04/2017–04/2018)

Academic Positions and Teaching (Selection)

since 10/2019 Doctoral researcher (“wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter”) at the Department of Philosophy of Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (Research Training Group “Philosophy, Science and the Sciences”), position funded by the DFG
10/2018–09/2019 Research associate (“wissenschaftlicher Mitarbeiter”, predoctoral) at the Department of Philosophy of Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  Teaching
Summer 2019 “Aristoteles‘ assertorische Syllogistik” (“Aristotle’s Assertoric Syllogistic”), graduate seminar (description)
  “Platons ethische Frühschriften” (“Plato’s Early Ethical Writings”), undergraduate seminar (description)
Winter 2018 “Aristoteles: Metaphysik Gamma” (“Aristotle: Metaphysics Gamma”), graduate seminar (description)
  “Die Lügnerparadoxie” (“The Paradox of the Liar”), undergraduate seminar (description)
09/2015 Lecturer at the Department of Protestant Theology of Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
  Teaching
Summer 2015 “Griechische Lektüreübung (Vorbereitung auf das Graecum)” (“Greek Reading Proficiency [Preparation for the State Exam in Greek]”), two-week intensive course (description)

Academic Talks (Selection)

02/2020 “Dialektik der Pflanze: Spott in Aristoteles‘ Metaphysik Buch Γ”, Philosophie in der Komödie – Komödie in der Philosophie, FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg
09/2019 “The Principle of Excluded Middle in Aristotle”, VI. internationaler Kongress der Gesellschaft für antike Philosophie (Forum für Doktorandinnen und Doktoranden), Goethe-Universität Frankfurt
07/2018 “Negation in Aristotle’s Term Logic”, 8th Princeton-Humboldt Graduate Conference in Philosophy, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin
04/2017 “Aristoteles‘ Prinzip vom ausgeschlossenen Dritten”, Logik zwischen Mathematik und Philosophie, Universität Göttingen

Publications

  • Izgin, Christopher. 2020. “Internal Negation and the Principles of Non-Contradiction and of Excluded Middle in Aristotle”, History and Philosophy of Logic 41(1): 1–15. DOI:10.1080/01445340.2019.1683793.

 

Professional Memberships

  • GANPH (Gesellschaft für antike Philosophie)
  • DGPhil (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Philosophie)
  • GAP (Gesellschaft für Analytische Philosophie)
  • ABAZ (August-Boeckh-Antike-Zentrum)

 

Contact: christopher.izgin@hu-berlin.de