Analytic Philosophy

The Vienna Circle

What was tragic about Schlick’s death?

After the Nazis came to power in Germany and Austria, many members of the Vienna Circle fled to the United States and England. Schlick remained. Although not Jewish, he was distressed by what was then happening in Germany. While walking up some steps at the University of Vienna to teach a class on June 22, 1936, Johann Nelböck, a former student, confronted Schlick with a pistol and shot him. Schlick died of a chest wound. Nelböck was convicted but soon pardoned, after which he became a member of the Nazi Party. Although Schlick was not Jewish, logical positivism was condemned as “Jewish thought” by the Nazis.


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