Marko Malink

Marko Malink is Associate Professor in the Department of Philosophy and the College. He was born and educated in Germany, and received his M.A. from the University of Leipzig in 2004 and his Ph.D. from the Humboldt University Berlin in 2008. His area of specialization is ancient philosophy, especially ancient logic, but he also has strong interests in logic, philosophy of language, and linguistics.

Malink’s research centers on Aristotle’s logic and metaphysics. He is working on the Prior Analytics’ modal syllogistic, and is concerned to show how Aristotle’s metaphysical views on essence and predication can help us to understand the modal syllogistic. He is also interested in the origin and development of the notion of formal logic in antiquity. Among more recent authors, figures of interest for him include Frege and Quine. In linguistics, he has worked on semantic issues concerning verbal aspect and temporal adverbs.


Marko Malink on Elucidations (podcast) - Link


office: Walker Museum 202B
office hours: on leave academic year 2014-2015
phone: 773/702-4149



  • Aristotle's Modal Syllogistic, Harvard University Press, 2013 - Link

Selected Publications in Ancient Philosophy

  • 'Proof by Assumption of the Possible in Prior Analytics 1. 15' (with Jacob Rosen), forthcoming in Mind (PDF)
  • 'Deduction in Sophistici Elenchi 6', in Mi-Kyoung Lee (ed.), Strategies of Argument: Essays in Ancient Ethics, Epistemology, and Logic, New York: Oxford University Press, 149–174 (PDF)
  • 'Essence and Being: A Discussion of Michail Peramatzis, Priority in Aristotle's Metaphysics', Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 45 (2013), 341–362 (PDF)
  • 'Aristotle on Circular Proof', Phronesis 58 (2013), 215–248 (PDF)
  • 'A Method of Modal Proof in Aristotle' (with Jacob Rosen), Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 42 (2012), 179–261 (PDF)
  • `Figures of Prosleptic Syllogisms in Prior Analytics 2.7', Classical Quarterly 62 (2012), 163–178 (PDF)
  • `A Non-Extensional Notion of Conversion in the Organon', Oxford Studies in Ancient Philosophy 37 (2009), 105-141 (PDF)
  • `Indeterminate Propositions in Prior Analytics I.41', Logical Analysis and History of Philosophy 12 (2009), 165-189 (PDF)
  • `ΤΩΙ vs ΤΩΝ in Prior Analytics I.1-22', Classical Quarterly 58 (2008), 519-536 (PDF)
  • `Categories in Topics I.9', Rhizai. Journal for Ancient Philosophy and Science 4 (2007), 271-294 (PDF)
  • `A Reconstruction of Aristotle's Modal Syllogistic', History and Philosophy of Logic 27 (2006), 95-141 (PDF)
  • Four Handbook Articles: `Syllogismos', `Organon', `Modalitäten', `Wirkung: Logik', in: Aristoteles-Handbuch, Chr. Rapp & K. Corcilius (ed.), Stuttgart: Metzler (2011), 65–74, 275–80, 343–8, and 480–4 (PDF)

Reviews by Marko Malink

  • Review of L. Castagnoli: Ancient Self-Refutation, Classical Philology 107 (2012), 367–371 (PDF)
  • Review of Th. Ebert & U. Nortmann: Aristoteles. Analytica priora I; History and Philosophy of Logic 30 (2009), 389-396 (PDF)
  • Review of J. Barnes: Truth, etc. Six Lectures on Ancient Logic; Gnomon 80 (2008), 676-681 (PDF)
  • Review of P. Crivelli: Aristotle on Truth; Philosophie Antique 6 (2006), 208-211 (PDF)

Selected Publications in Linguistics

  • `Phase Structures and Quantification', in: Event Structures in Linguistic Form and Interpretation, J. Dölling et al. (ed.), Berlin: de Gruyter (2008), 413-434 (PDF)
  • `Right Boundary Achievements under Conative Negation', in: The Discourse Potential of Underspecified Structures, A. Steube (ed.), Berlin: de Gruyter (2008), 145-162 (PDF)
  • `Russian, Czech and Upper Sorbian uže / už / hižo and Aspectual Relations' (with T. Heyde-Zybatow), in: Formal Description of Slavic Languages: FDSL 5, G. Zybatow et al. (ed.), Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang (2008), 201-212 (PDF)
  • `Clitic Climbing and Theta-Roles in Upper Sorbian and Czech' (with Š. Lešnerová), in: Formal Description of Slavic Languages: FDSL 5, G. Zybatow et al. (ed.), Frankfurt a. M.: Peter Lang (2008), 396-407 (PDF)
  • `Phasenpartikeln und Verbklassen' (with T. Zybatow), in: Proceedings of the Conference sub7 - Sinn und Bedeutung, M. Weisgerber (ed.), Arbeitspapier 114 des FB Sprachwissenschaft der Universität Konstanz (2003), 337-351
  • `Zur dreidimensionalen Modellierung der Phasenpartikeln um schon' (with I. Max), in: Linguistische Arbeitsberichte 76, J. Dölling and G. Zybatov (ed.), Institut für Linguistik der Universität Leipzig (2001), 89-120

Responses to Marko Malink's Work

  • Piñón, Christopher, “Negating right boundary achievements (Comments on Malink),” In The Discourse Potential of Underspecified Structures, A. Steube (ed.), Berlin: de Gruyter (2008), pp. 163–175. PDF


Recent & Upcoming Courses

29406/39406. Algebraic Logic and Its Critics: The History of Logic from Leibniz to Frege. The study of logic in the second half of the 19th century was dominated by an algebraic approach to the subject. This tradition, as exemplified in George Boole’s Laws of Thought, aimed to develop a calculus of deductive reasoning based on the standard algebraic techniques employed in mathematics. In this course, we will trace the historical development of the algebraic tradition in logic, beginning with the early attempts of Leibniz to formulate a calculus ratiocinator. We will consider the various systems of algebraic logic developed in the 19th century in the works of De Morgan, Boole, Jevons, Peirce, and Schroder, and conclude by examining Frege’s critique of Boole’s system in relation to Frege’s own Begriffsschrift. (B) (II, V) With A. Vasudevan. Spring 2014.

55799. Aristotle’s Theory of Science: Posterior Analytics I. Knowledge of Greek not required. In the Posterior Analytics, Aristotle presents his theory of science and knowledge (episteme). For Aristotle, scientific knowledge is typically obtained by means of demonstrations. A demonstration is a kind of deduction that proceeds from epistemically prior premisses and provides an explanation (aition) of why the conclusion is true. Aristotle examines the nature of demonstrative sciences by using the theory of syllogistic deduction developed in the Prior Analytics. For example, he argues that there can be no infinite chains of predication and hence no infinite regress of demonstrations. Thus, every chain of demonstrations terminates in unproved first principles (archai). The seminar will be a close reading of the first book of the Posterior Analytics, covering central aspects of Aristotle’s logic, philosophy of science, and epistemology. (II, III, IV) Autumn 2013.

20100/30000. Elementary Logic. (=CHSS 33500,HIPS 20700 ). Course not for field credit. No prerequisites. An introduction to the techniques of modern symbolic logic. The focus will be on the syntax and semantics of classical propositional and first-order quantificational logic. The course will introduce methods for determining whether a given argument is valid or invalid. We will discuss how statements and arguments of ordinary discourse can be represented within the formal language of  propositional and quantificational logic. There will also be discussion of some important meta-theorems for these logical systems. Autumn 2012, Autumn 2013.

55789. Aristotle on Substance and Essence: Metaphysics Zeta. Note: Knowledge of Greek not required. Book Zeta of the Metaphysics, sometimes characterized as ‘the Mount Everest of ancient philosophy’, is concerned with the question, What is substantial being (ousia)? Aristotle explores several potential answers to this question, specifying substantial being as subject, essence, universal, or genus. His discussion is based on the distinction between form and matter of composite beings. Further questions discussed in Zeta include: Do non-substantial beings have an essence or definition? Why do definitions constitute a unity? What role do essences play in scientific explanations? The seminar will be a close reading of Zeta.(III, IV). Autumn 2012.

 20640/30640. Ontological Dependence.  This course will examine historical and contemporary approaches to the relation of ontological dependence, focusing on Aristotle, Descartes, and among more recent authors, Kit Fine. Questions to be discussed will include: What is ontological dependence and how does it differ from other dependence relations, e.g., causation or priority in definition? How does this relation bear on notions such as substance and essence, and vice versa? What is the historical trajectory from Aristotle onwards concerning these questions? (B) With A. Schechtman, Spring 2013.

55790. Aristotle: Metaphysics Gamma. In Metaphysics Gamma, Aristotle develops the conception of metaphysics as a science of being qua being. It is the task of this science, he argues, to investigate what he regards as the firmest principle of all: the principle of non-contradiction, according to which “it is impossible that the same thing should simultaneously belong and not belong to the same thing in the same respect”. Although this principle cannot be established by demonstration, Aristotle offers a series of arguments to the effect that it is impossible to disbelieve it. The seminar will be a close reading of Gamma. No Greek required. (IV). Autumn 2011.

229410/39410. Logical consequence. PQ: Elementary Logic or equivalent. This course will discuss philosophical issues connected with the notion of logical consequence. We will begin with the accounts of logical consequence given by Bolzano (1837) and Tarski (1936). According to Tarski, A is a logical consequence of B if there is no interpretation of the non-logical expressions in A and B such that the latter is true and the former is false. We will look at Etchemendy’s (1990) criticism of Tarski’s account, and at some replies to this criticism. We will also consider proof-theoretic accounts of logical consequence, such as the one put forward by Dag Prawitz. (II) Winter 2012

21712. Aristotle’s syllogistic. This course is an introduction to Aristotle’s theory of deductive inference. Readings will be drawn from the Prior Analytics  and other works of the Organon. Examples of questions we will discuss are: What is Aristotle’s conception of deduction (syllogismos), and how does it differ from modern conceptions? How can ordinary language arguments be formalized within the Prior Analytics’ syllogistic theory? What role do deductions play in Aristotle’s dialectics (Topics) and theory of science (Posterior Analytics)? We will also look at Aristotle’s justification of perfect syllogisms, proofs by reductio ad impossibile, proofs by ecthesis, the square of opposition, and what is known as the problem of existential import. The course will not presume any prior familiarity with symbolic logic. Spring 2012