What are 2 themes of "Wittgenstein's Poker"?

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linda-allen eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The book "Wittgenstein's Poker" is a biography/philosophical text written by David Edmonds and John Eidnow. In January 2007, the authors gave an interview to Nigel Warburton on his web site Virtual Philosopher (linked below). In that interview, when asked what the main theme of their book is, they respond that it:

centres on the first and only encounter between Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein, when Popper delivered a paper entitled ‘Are There Philosophical Problems?’ to a tumultuous meeting of the Cambridge philosophical society, on a bitter evening on 25 October 1946.

The poker of the title refers to a fireplace poker that Wittgenstein is supposed to have threatened Popper with. Some people who had been present at this incident accused Popper of inventing the story, so Edmonds and Eidnow set out to discover the truth:

Its theme:  well at heart it's a detective story.  We set out to answer the question - did Professor Sir Karl Popper really lie? 

Along with relating this confrontation, the authors also discuss their separate philosophies, which can be called a second theme.

savannah23 | Student

Wittgenstein's Poker: The Story of a Ten-Minute Argument Between Two Great Philosophers is a 2001 book by BBC journalists David Edmonds and John Eidinow about events in the history of philosophy involving Sir Karl Popper and Ludwig Wittgenstein, leading to a confrontation at the Cambridge University Moral Sciences Club in 1946. The book was a bestseller and received positive reviews



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Wittgenstein's Poker

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