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The Murder of Professor Schlick Reviews

The Murder of Professor Schlick by David Edmonds

The Murder of Professor Schlick: The Rise and Fall of the Vienna Circle

David Edmonds

Score pending

2 reviews

Imprint: Princeton University Press
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Publication date: 22 Sep 2020
ISBN: 9780691164908
3 stars out of 5
20 Nov 2020

"(A) compelling biography of the group"

As David Edmonds, an Oxford University philosopher and broadcaster, argues in his compelling biography of the group, there was nothing particularly new about this. The Vienna circle saw themselves in the tradition of the 18th-century Scottish thinker David Hume, who had famously written that any tract devoid of “experimental reasoning” ought to be committed “to the flames, for it can contain nothing but sophistry and illusion”.

Reviews

4 stars out of 5
25 Oct 2020

"Wonderfully combining philosophical exegesis with history, ­politics and gossip, Edmonds traces the trajectory of what came to be called the Vienna Circle"

With tough philosophy and touching, funny anecdotes, Edmonds can revivify the characters and times of the Vienna Circle, but not any sense of its lasting importance. Its most remembered members weren’t, he concedes, even really members – Karl Popper had been excluded for being brash and rude; Godel, famous for his incompleteness theorem, was mostly silent and secretly oppositional; Wittgenstein disliked the “nastiness” of sitting among logical positivists.