Schlick portrait

Moritz Schlick (April 1882-June 1936) Mike Miller

  • Mr. Schlick becomes Dr. Schlick

    Mr. Schlick becomes Dr. Schlick
    At the University of Berlin, Schlick studied physics with Max Plank and earned his Ph.D in 1904 at the age of 22. This was a major accomplishment especially seeing as he was born into a middle class working family with little financial resources. Schlick was enthralled with his new studies and devoted his life to teaching, becoming a professor shortly after graduation (Oberdin, par. 3).
  • Schlick begins his tome

    Schlick begins his tome
    Beginning in 1908, Moritz Schlick began collecting his thoughts and theories into written form. He published his first book, "Lebensweisheit" (The Wisdom of Life), followed by "The Boundaries of Scientific and Philosophical Concept-Formation" in 1910 and an essay titled “The Nature of Truth in Modern Logic” in the same year. These works thrust him into the mainstream of philosophical physicists ("Moritz Schlick, par. 4).
  • Schlick's thoughts on Einstein

    Schlick's thoughts on Einstein
    In 1920, Schlick wrote a comparative novel called "Space and Time in Contemporary Physics" which looked at the incommensurability between Newtonian spacetime and Einstein's theory of relativity. When Einstein described the gravitational effect on spacetime, it redefined Newton's theory of a fixed time and space and Schlick described how the paradigm shifted in his new book (Space and Time, 1920)
  • Founded the Vienna Circle

    Founded the Vienna Circle
    Beginning as an informal gathering at local coffee shops, Moritz Schlick began the most influential group of minds modern philosophy has ever known. Schlick was the founder and unofficial leader of the Vienna Circle from its inception in 1922 until his death in 1936 (Oberdan, ch. 7 par. 1).
  • The beginnings of Logical Positivism

    The beginnings of Logical Positivism
    Along with Rudolph Carnap, Schlick began examining and developing the school of thought we now refer to as Logical Positivism. This is a theory "that the function of philosophy is the analysis of meaning" (Oberdan, ch. 7 par. 5). Schlick wrote a number of essays and books expounding on these thoughts which opened the door for philosophers around the world to his new concepts.
  • The Murder of Professor Schlick

    The Murder of Professor Schlick
    On June 22, 1936, as Schlick was on his way to give a lecture at the University of Vienna, he was shot and killed by a former student, Johann Nelböck. Schlick died shortly thereafter leaving the Vienna Circle without a leader at the helm. Nelböck was a schizophrenic and had been stalking Schlick for months waiting for his opportunity. Upon shooting him, he said, "Now, you damn bastard. There you have it" (Edmonds, 2021)