Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers

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Harper Collins, Sep 17, 2002 - Philosophy - 352 pages

On October 25, 1946, in a crowded room in Cambridge, England, the great twentieth-century philosophers Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper came face to face for the first and only time. The meeting -- which lasted ten minutes -- did not go well. Their loud and aggressive confrontation became the stuff of instant legend, but precisely what happened during that brief confrontation remained for decades the subject of intense disagreement.

An engaging mix of philosophy, history, biography, and literary detection, Wittgenstein's Poker explores, through the Popper/Wittgenstein confrontation, the history of philosophy in the twentieth century. It evokes the tumult of fin-de-siécle Vienna, Wittgentein's and Popper's birthplace; the tragedy of the Nazi takeover of Austria; and postwar Cambridge University, with its eccentric set of philosophy dons, including Bertrand Russell. At the center of the story stand the two giants of philosophy themselves -- proud, irascible, larger than life -- and spoiling for a fight.

 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - jonfaith - www.librarything.com

This was holiday gift from a girl back in 2001. I read it in an evening and then let the girl read it. We soon broke up and I haven't seen it since. Oh, the story is interesting despite the paucity of actual events or substance within the celerbated conversation. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Lord_Boris - www.librarything.com

3.5 Stars. Ostensibly about a 10 minute argument between philosophers Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein at Cambridge in 1946, but much wider in scope than that. The book delves extensively into the ... Read full review

Contents

The Poker
1
Memories Are Made of This
6
Bewitchment
21
Disciples
30
The Third Man
39
The Faculty
57
A Viennese Whirl
73
The Concerts in the Palais
80
Death in Vienna
142
Popper Circles the Circle
165
Poor Little Rich Boy
187
Trajectories of Success
206
The Problem with Puzzles
221
The Puzzle over Problems
243
Poker Plus
257
Clearing up the Muddle
274

Once a Jew
93
Popper Reads Mein Kampf
106
Some Jew
112
Little Luki
120
All Shall Have Prizes
289
AppendixTimes Literary
306
Index
328
Copyright

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About the author (2002)

David Edmonds is an award-winning journalists with the BBC. He's the bestselling authors of Bobby Fischer Goes to War and Wittgenstein’s Poker.

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