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  1. On October 25, 1946, two great philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein and Karl Popper, met at the Moral Sciences Club in Cambridge. Two fundamentally different people in character, biography and outlook on philosophy. Wittgenstein hardly knew who Popper was at all, and Popper had long wanted to smash his opponent to smithereens. The essence of the dispute was the question of the existence of philosophical statements. Popper believed that there are such things, but Wittgenstein thought that there are only language puzzles that we have to sort out in order to distinguish meaning from nonsense.

    Towards the end of the argument, Wittgenstein, hot-tempered and almost always self-absorbed, grabbed a poker. Further readings diverge. Someone claims that he threatened her with Popper, someone says that he did it spontaneously. But everyone agrees that there was a poker. Popper described it as if Wittgenstein had actually threatened him. Thus, it appears that Wittgenstein allegedly resorted to threats because he was unable to challenge Popper's arguments and defend his views. And Popper deals a devastating blow to linguistic philosophy… During the argument, when it came to questions of ethics, Wittgenstein demanded an example of moral principle and Popper replied “Do not threaten invited speakers with a poker” and Wittgenstein left the audience slamming the door. The advantage of Popper in this interpretation is obvious – it smashed the opponent to smithereens. On the other hand, as other evidence points out, Wittgenstein didn't even notice the argument.

    In fact, this poker is not so important, and this whole argument is just a vivid demonstration of a tectonic shift in twentieth-century philosophy-a linguistic turn. For Wittgenstein, all philosophy was a game of language. Popper believed that the study of language was a useful tool, a useful study that led to what was really important – to real problems, and therefore he could not agree with his opponent, who, in his opinion, was killing philosophy as such.

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