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LemographyStanislaw Lem in the Eyes of the World$
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Peter Swirski and Waclaw M. Osadnik

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9781781381205

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9781781381205.001.0001

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Literature, Futurology, or Philosophy?

Literature, Futurology, or Philosophy?

The Futurological Congress

(p.114) 6. Literature, Futurology, or Philosophy?

Iris Vidmar

Peter Swirski


This chapter cast a critical light on Stanislaw Lem’s futurological tour de force, The Futurological Congress. Analyzing how this short novel plays out Lem’s favourite epistemic theme of unattainable knowledge, the chapter rebuffs all interpretations that fail to acknowledge the problem of cognitive illusion with which Lem has so much narrative fun. Dazzling in literary, frightening in futuristic, and visionary in philosophical terms, this dystopian utopia forces a timely reexamination of the pressing worries of its time—overpopulation and resource depletion—and those of ours, beginning with the pairing of technoscience and political control.

Keywords:   Stanislaw Lem, The Futurological Congress, unattainable knowledge, technoscience, overpopulation

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