On June 22, 1936, the philosopher Moritz Schlick was on his way to deliver a lecture at the University of Vienna when Johann Nelböck, a deranged former student of Schlick’s, shot him dead on the university steps. Some Austrian newspapers defended the madman, while Nelböck himself argued in court that his onetime teacher had promoted a treacherous Jewish philosophy. David Edmonds traces the rise and fall of the Vienna Circle—an influential group of brilliant thinkers led by Schlick—and of a philosophical movement that sought to do away with metaphysics and pseudoscience in a city darkened by fascism, anti-Semitism, and unreason.
About the Author
David Edmonds is the coauthor, with John Eidinow, of the bestselling Wittgenstein’s Poker as well as Rousseau’s Dog and Bobby Fischer Goes to War, and the author of Would You Kill the Fat Man? (Princeton). Cofounder, with Nigel Warburton, of the popular Philosophy Bites podcast series, he is a distinguished research fellow at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics and an award-winning presenter and producer for the BBC. Twitter @DavidEdmonds100