The Two Cultures Revisited. Stanisław Lem’s His Master’s Voice

  • Dominika Oramus Uniwersytet Warszawski
Keywords: Stanisław Lem, science fiction, science versus humanities, catastrophe

Abstract

I would like to take, as my starting point, the famous 1959 lecture of C. P. Snow, The Two Cultures, where science fiction is by and large ignored, and see how the consecutive points Snow is making are also discussed in the following decades of the 20th century by other philosophers of science, among them Stanisław Lem, Steven Weinberg, and Jonathan Gottschall. In 1959 Snow postulated re-uniting the two cultures through the reform of education. In the 1960s and 1970s Lem did not believe in any reform, but prophesied that science left alone would procure the final war and, probably, the self-inflicted technological death of the West. I am then going to juxtapose Snow’s argument with a science fiction novel concerned with the same civilizational crisis: Stanis law Lem’s His Master’s Voice.

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Published
2020-01-15