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Between an Animal and a Machine

Stanisław Lem’s Technological Utopia


Paweł Majewski

The subject of this book is the philosophy of Stanisław Lem. The first part contains an analysis and interpretation of one of his early works, The Dialogues. The author tries to show how Lem used the terminology of cybernetics to create a project of sociology and anthropology. The second part examines Lem’s essay Summa technologiae, which is considered as the project of human autoevolution. The term «autoevolution» is a neologism for the concept of humans taking control over their own biological evolution and form in order to improve the conditions of their being. In this interpretation, Summa is an example of a liberal utopia, based on the assumption that all human problems can be resolved by science. Various social theories, which can be linked to the project of autoevolution, are presented in the final part.

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Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

The Publication is founded by Ministry of Science and Higher Education of the Republic of Poland as a part of the National Programme for the Development of the Humanities.This publication reflects the views only of the authors, and the Ministry cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

ISSN 2193-3421

E-ISBN 978-3-653-06830-6 (E-PDF)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-71024-1 (EPUB)

E-ISBN 978-3-631-71025-8 (MOBI)

DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-06830-6

Open Access: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 4.0 unported license. To view a copy of this license, visit

© Paweł Majewski, 2018.

Peter Lang – Berlin · Bern · Bruxelles · New York ·

Oxford · Warszawa · Wien

This publication has been peer reviewed.