I once read an interesting short story about the possibility of a set of intelligent machines creating philosophy. Unfortunately I can't find the book that contains this short story. All I can remember it was an author from the so called Soviet bloc -- someone from the USSR or from Poland. Maybe Stanislaw Lem, or maybe the Strugatsky brothers.

It was a dispute between a philosopher and a computer scientist or a programmer.

Does anybody remember that?

  • 1
    Please don't cross post to two different sites with the exact same question
    – Mithical
    May 29, 2023 at 4:00
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    It sounds the sort of thing Lem would have written. He is repeatedly critical of philosophers in his stories. However I have a pretty complete collection of Lem's work and I don't recall a story like this. May 29, 2023 at 16:05
  • Sorry for crossposting, @Mithical. I didn't know it was not allowed. May 29, 2023 at 19:26
  • I read this a long time ago, but unfortunately I can't find the book. I'm sure it was a short story collection, so maybe it was a less famous writer. May 29, 2023 at 19:28

1 Answer 1


It could be Bet by Vladlen Bahnov (published in 1970):

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So, dear cyberologist, - said the old philosopher, repeat, please, once again the conditions of our bet. Let's fix them in order to avoid further misunderstandings on magnetic tape. - With pleasure. The conditions are as follows: to conduct our experiment, we, dear philosopher, order a dozen machines that can create works of art...

...The machines were very happy about the discovery of a new genre and rushed to create critical masterpieces, furiously accusing each other of ignorance...

...What's the matter? We asked to make MUTs who would not know anything except the rules for creating works. - Right. But these MUTs know absolutely nothing. - Not true! These MUTs know they don't know anything. And Socrates did not know any more!

Full text (google translate)

  • Great, Yaroslav ! That was precisely what I was looking for. Большое спасибо ! Jun 7, 2023 at 3:45
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    You are welcome, будь ласка =) Jun 7, 2023 at 9:14

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