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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 Aristotle and on ancient theoretical philosophy more generally. 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 what I call a ‘psycho-linguistic’ version. The ontological version says it is necessary that everything either be (such and so) or not be (such and so). The psycho-linguistic version says it is necessary that (at least) one member of the contradictory pair be true—tertium non datur. I focus on questions such as the following: What is the relation between the ontological and the psycho-linguistic versions 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 philosophy? And how does Aristotle defend PEM against philosophical positions that amount to the denial of this axiom 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

Academic Education

since 10/2019 Ph.D. candidate in Philosophy at Humboldt-Universität Berlin, Department of Philosophy, 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)

02/2021 “A New Approach to Aristotle’s Definitions of Truth and Falsity in Metaphysics Γ.7” (peer-reviewed), 24th Annual Oxford Graduate Philosophy Conference (online conference)
12/2020 “Aristotle’s Logical Syntax: A Reconstruction and Analysis” (comments by Fabian Ruge, LMU Munich), 6th Munich-Berlin Graduate Workshop in Ancient Philosophy (online conference)
11/2020 “Axioms in Aristotle’s Non-Axiomatic Syllogistic”, 31st Novembertagung on the History and Philosophy of Mathematics (online conference)
11/2020 “Seins- und Denkgesetze bei Aristoteles”, Promovierenden-Forum der Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (online conference)
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” (comments by Wenjin Liu, Princeton University), 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

Academic Service

02/2021 Co-organization of the online workshop “Philosophischer Mythos – Mythische Philosophie”, together with Sandra Erker (FU Berlin)
12/2020

Co-organization of the online workshop “6th Munich-Berlin Graduate Workshop in Ancient Philosophy”, together with Caterina Pavoni, Leah D. Rotsia (both LMU Munich) and Benjamin Wilck (HU Berlin)

 

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)
  • VICTR (The Virtual International Consortium for Truth Research)

 

Contact: christopher.izgin@hu-berlin.de