Ideology of Cybernetics & Artificial Intelligence:
Selected References

Compiled by Ralph Dumain

Karl Marx

Karl Marx on automatons, machinery, capital & labor

Karl Marx on the Hegelian automaton: mechanism = teleology

Marx to Engels, 28 January 1863 (Letter on the origin of mechanized industry)

Ralph Dumain: Antaŭparolo al Karlo Markso: La tiel nomata Fragmento pri maŝinoj (elgermanigita de Vilhelmo Lutermano) [in Esperanto]

Maŝinaro kaj granda industrio (Ĉerpaĵoj ) de Karlo Markso, trad. V. Lutermano [in Esperanto]

Critical theory vs cybernetics (on this site)

Adorno on Philosophy, Formalism, & Artificial Intelligence (1964/65)

Theodor W. Adorno on war-spectatorship, robot-bombs, & Hegel (1944)

Jürgen Habermas on centralized automation of social control (1963?)

Logique formelle, logique dialectique: Préface a la 3e édition par Henri Lefebvre (1982)

Ars combinatoria, cybernetics, mimesis & praxis by Henri Lefebvre (1965)

Is philosophical creativity combinatorial? by Henri Lefebvre (1965)

Henri Lefebvre on Leibniz & Ars Combinatoria by Henri Lefebvre (1965)

Henri Lefebvre’s Metaphilosophy – First Notes by Ralph Dumain

Erich Fromm on artificial intelligence & psychological determinism (1968)

Guy Debord on computers, dialectic, strategic thought

Soviet philosophy, cybernetics, & systems theory

Alternatives to Positivism by Igor Naletov (1984) (on this site)


Artinian, Arto. “Homo Datum and Socialized Cybernetics: Emerging Contours of the Latest Phase of Capitalism,” in Marxism and Sciences, Volume 2, Issue 1, Winter 2023, pp. 157-166 [special issue on Ilyenkov].

Chukhrov, Keti. “The Philosophical Disability of Reason: Evald Ilyenkov’s Critique of Machinic Intelligence,” Radical Philosophy, 2.07, Spring 2020.

Chukhrov, Keti. “Why Preserve the Name ‘Human’?,” e-flux journal #65 (SUPERCOMMUNITY), May-August 2015.

Gerovitch, Slava. From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: A History of Soviet Cybernetics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia: Selected Entries on Philosophical & Related Topics (on this site)

cybernetics by V. M. Glushkov (at The Free Dictionary – Encyclopedias).

Ilyenkov, Evald. “The Mystery of Black Box. Sci-Fi Prelude” [in Russian], in On the Idols and the Ideals (in Russian: Ob Idolakh I Idealakh) (Politizdat, 1968), pp. 11–28. Online version: There is also an ms of an English translation by Giuliano Vivaldi, not yet published.

Note International Friends of Ilyenkov programmes: April 16, 2019: Keti Chukrov on Ilyenkov's 'Black Box', May 15, 2019: Human-Machine Dialectics.

Ilyenkov, Evald. “The Notes of Bezumtsev” [satire, in Russian], in Evald Ilyenkov’s Philosophy and Contemporaneity [in Russian], ed. Andrey Maidansky (Belgorod: Belgorod Publishers, 2016), pp. 10–14.

Ilyenkov, Evald. “On the state of philosophy [letter to the Central Committee of the Party]” (1967?), translated by Andrzej W. Nowak and Monika Woźniak, Studies in East European Thought, 24 January 2024. See also introduction by Woźniak & Nowak, below.

Ilyenkov, Evald. “Where Does the Mind Come From” [in Russian], in Philosophy and Culture (Moscow: Political Literature Publishers, 1991, pp. 30–43.

Impett, Leo. “Marxism and new developments in science: Artificial intelligence and deep learning: Technical and political challenges,” Theory & Struggle, v. 119, no. 1, 2018, pp. 82–92.

Impett, Leo. “Vygotsky and Marxist artificial intelligence,” Theory & Struggle, v. 116 no. 1, 2015, pp. 18–21.

Mindell, David;  Segal, Jérôme; Gerovitch, Slava. ‘From Communications Engineering to Communications Science: Cybernetics and Information Theory in the United States, France, and the Soviet Union,’ in Science and Ideology: A Comparative History, edited by Mark Walker (London: Routledge, 2003), pp. 66-96.

Shames, Carl. “Activity Theory: A Marxist Approach to Psychology,” Science and Nature, Nos. 9/10, 1989, pp. 54-64. (on this site)

Shillcock, Richard. “Marxism and cognitive science,” Theory & Struggle, v. 119, no. 1, 2018, pp. 93–99.

Timofeeva, Oxana. “Spirituality Beyond Man: Toward a Labor Theory of the Soul,” Rethinking Marxism, 32: 1 (2020), 66-87.

Turner, Phil. “Affordance as context,” Interacting with Computers 17 (2005) 787–800.

Woźniak, Monika; Nowak, Andrzej W. “Fighting for philosophy in the Marxian sense: introduction to Evald Ilyenkov’s ‘On the state of philosophy’ [letter to the Central Committee of the Party],” Studies in East European Thought, 26 February 2024. See also translation of Ilyenkov’s letter.

Yanes-Fernandez, Inti. “David I. Dubrovsky and Merab Mamardashvili: Adam’s Second Fall and the Advent of the Cyber-Leviathan,” Forum Philosophicum 24 (2019) no. 2, 301–41.

Other works in Marxist & critical theory

Carchedi, Guglielmo. “The Ontology and Social Dimension of Knowledge: The Internet Quanta Time,International Critical Thought, 11 September 2022.

Lefebvre, Henri. Vers le cybernanthrope. Paris: Denoël, Gonthier, 1971.

Reviews by Ralph Dumain

Logicomix: Logic and Madness Reviewed by Ralph Dumain (on this site)

A Madman Dreams of Turing Machines, novel by Janna Levin, reviewed by R. Dumain (Reason & Society blog, May 23, 2018)

Renewal of Materialism (1) (Reason & Society blog, August 13, 2010) Note:

Gil, Didier. “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?”, Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, vol. 22, no. 1, 2000, pp. 227-253.

This is one of the finest dissections of the competing philosophies underlying artificial intelligence I have seen.

Review of Bonnie Bilyeu Gordon, Songs from Unsung Worlds: Science in Poetry (on this site)

Review: Sydney Padua, The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage (on this site)

Ada Lovelace, electricity, ideology & Victorian science (on this site)

Emergence blog (old blog, on this site)

02 (5 Nov 2004-25 Feb 2005)

03 (23 Feb 2005-3 June 2005)

Other books on artificial intelligence & related topics

Bernal, J.D. The World, the Flesh and the Devil: An Enquiry into the Future of the Three Enemies of the Rational Soul, introduction by McKenzie Wark. London; Brooklyn: Verso, 2017. (Original ed. 1929.)  See also:

Schäfer, Wolf. "Stranded at the Crossroads of Dehumanization: John Desmond Bernal and Max Horkheimer," in On Max Horkheimer: New Perspectives, edited by Seyla Benhabib, Wolfgang Bonß, and John McCole (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1993) pp. 153-183.

Broussard, Meredith. Artificial Unintelligence: How Computers Misunderstand the World. Cambridge, MA; London:The MIT Press, 2018.

Cave, Stephen, Dihal, Kanta; Dillon, Sarah; eds. AI Narratives: A History of Imaginative Thinking about Intelligent Machines. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020. DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198846666.001.0001

See also: Machines Like Us? Modernism and the Question of the Robot by Paul March-Russell.

Christian, Brian. The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values. New York: W. W. Norton & Company, 2020.

The Alignment Problem: Machine Learning and Human Values (video), September 17, 2020 (58:10)

Cramer, Florian. Words Made Flesh: Code, Culture, Imagination. Rotterdam: Piet Zwart Institute, 2005.

Dyer-Witheford, Nick; Kjøsen, Atle Mikkola; Steinhoff, James. Inhuman Power: Artificial Intelligence and the Future of Capitalism. London: Pluto Press, 2019.

Fidora, Alexander; Sierra, Carles; eds. Ramon Llull: From the Ars Magna to Artificial Intelligence. Barcelona: Artificial Intelligence Research Institute, IIIA - Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Cientificas 2011. Contents.

Forsythe, Diana E. Studying Those Who Study Us: An Anthropologist in the World of Artificial Intelligence, edited with an introduction by David J. Hess. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 2001.

Joque, Justin. Revolutionary Mathematics: Artificial Intelligence, Statistics and the Logic of Capitalism. London: Verso Books, 2022.

Koetsier, Teun. The Ascent of GIM, the Global Intelligent Machine: A History of Production and Information Machines. Cham: Springer International Publishing, Springer, 2019.

Liu, Lydia H. The Freudian Robot: Digital Media and the Future of the Unconscious. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2010

McCorduck, Pamela. Machines Who Think: A Personal Inquiry into the History and Prospects of Artificial Intelligence. 2nd ed. Natick, MA: A K Peters, Ltd., 2004.

Millar, Isabel. The Psychoanalysis of Artificial Intelligence. Cham, Switzerland: Palgrave Macmillan, 2021. (The Palgrave Lacan Series)

Morus, Iwan Rhys, ed. Bodies/Machines. Oxford; New York: Berg, 2002.

O’Shea, Lizzie. Future Histories: What Ada Lovelace, Tom Paine, and the Paris Commune Can Teach Us about Digital Technology. London; New York: Verso, 2019.

Pickover, Clifford A. Artificial Intelligence: an Illustrated History: from Medieval Robots to Neural Networks. New York: Sterling, 2019.

Negarestani, Reza. Intelligence and Spirit. Windsor Quarry, Falmouth, UK: Urbanomic; New York: Sequence, 2018.

Analysis utilizing Hegel and Kant. See also:

The Inhuman (a quick read), Toy Philosophy, April 8, 2018.
Some clarifications on the Inhuman, Toy Philosophy, April 9, 2018.

Weizenbaum, Joseph. Islands in the Cyberstream: Seeking Havens of Reason in a Programmed Society, with Gunna Wendt, translated by Benjamin Fasching-Gray. Sacramento, CA: Litwin Books, 2015. [German original, 2006]

Wiener, Norbert. God and Golem, Inc.: A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1964.

Other articles & essays on artificial intelligence

Aradau, Claudia; Bunz, Mercedes. “Dismantling the Apparatus of Domination? Left Critiques of AI,” Radical Philosophy 2.12, Spring 2022.

Babich, Babette E. “Nietzsche and AI: On ChatGPT and the Psychology of Illusion,” The Philosophical Salon, 19 June 2023.

Barbour, Charles. “Irony machine: why are AI researchers teaching computers to recognise irony?”, The Conversation, July 25, 2022.

Betancourt, Michael. A Note on AI and the Ideology of Creativity, Academia Letters, Article 328.

Bender, Emily M.; Koller, Alexander. “Climbing towards NLU: On Meaning, Form, and Understanding in the Age of Data,” in Proceedings of the 58th Annual Meeting of the Association for Computational Linguistics, July 5 - 10, 2020. (Menlo Park, CA: Association for Computational Linguistics), pp. 5185-5198.

Chanan, Michael. “Artificial Stupidity: On the Alienation of Intelligence,Free Associations: Psychoanalysis and Culture, Media, Groups, Politics, Number 88, Spring 2023.

Heffley, Mike. “Braxton’s System: An Artificer’s Intelligence,” 1999.

Hoel, Erik. “Big Tech Is Replacing Human Artists with AI,” The Intrinsic Perspective, September 8, 2021.

Jefferson, Geoffrey. “The Mind of Mechanical Man,” The British Medical Journal, Vol. 1, No. 4616 (June 25, 1949), pp. 1105-1110.

Johnson, Christopher. “‘French’ Cybernetics,” French Studies, vol. 69, no. 1, 2015, pp. 60-78.

Liu, Lydia H. “Wittgenstein in the Machine,” Critical Inquiry, Volume 47, Number 3, Spring 2021, pp. 425-455.

Minai, Ali. “Between Golem and God: The Future of AI,” 3 Quarks Daily, June 7, 2021.

Mitchell, W. J. T. “From Robots to iBots: The Iconology of Artificial Intelligence,” Los Angeles Review of Books, July 22, 2023.

Nemenyi, Daniel. “Robot Makes Free: The Leibnizian cryptowar of Norbert WienerRadical Philosophy 2.14, April 2023, pp. 3-20.

Thomas-Corr, Johanna. “Jeanette Winterson’s vision of the future of AI is messianic – but unconvincing,” New Statesman, 18 August 2021.

Philosophy of mind / cognitive science

Canguilhem, Georges. “The Brain and Thought,” translated by Steven Corcoran and Peter Hallward, Radical Philosophy, no. 148, March/April 2008, pp. 7-8. [ “Le cerveau et la pensée,” lecture, Sorbonne, February 20, 1980.]

“A model of scientific research was thereby converted into a machine of ideological propaganda with a twofold purpose: to anticipate or disarm all opposition to the invasion of a means of automating the regulation of social relations; and to conceal the presence of decision-makers behind the anonymity of the machine.”

Fodor, Jerry A. “The Mind-Body Problem,” Scientific American, vol. 244, no. 1, January 1981.

Frawley, William. Vygotsky and Cognitive Science: Language and the Unification of the Social and Computational Mind. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1997.

Gil, Didier. “Is Consciousness a Brain Process?,” Graduate Faculty Philosophy Journal, vol. 22, no. 1, 2000, pp. 227-253. DOI: 10.5840/gfpj20002218

This is one of the finest dissections of the competing philosophies underlying artificial intelligence I have seen.

Nail, Thomas. “Artificial intelligence research may have hit a dead end.” Salon, April 30, 2021.

Videos / Debates

The AI illusion (iai - The Institute of Arts and Ideas) HowTheLightGetsIn Global 2020 online festival

German Historical Institute Spring Lecture Series “'The spirits that I called': Artificial Life from the Enlightenment to the Present” (2020-2021)

Rudolf Seising, Transmission of Intelligence and Information. A History of Artificial Intelligence, April 29, 2021. Video (1:20:29)

Peter Swirski

Swirski, Peter. From Literature to Biterature: Lem, Turing, Darwin, and Explorations in Computer Literature, Philosophy of Mind, and Cultural Evolution. Montreal; Kingston: McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2013.

Interview with Peter Swirski, Author of From Literature to Biterature (September 11, 2013)

Peter Swirski - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Peter Swirski & artificial intelligence: the last gasp of bourgeois reason by Ralph Dumain (on this site)

Literary Applications

Ahn, Sunyoung. “The Everyday Life of Artificial Intelligence: The Humanism of Ted Chiang’s The Lifecycle of Software Objects,” Science Fiction Studies, no. 140 (vol. 47, no. 1), March 2020, pp. 73-92.

Branch, Andrew. “A Robo-Poet Does Not Scare Us”, Hypocrite Reader, Issue 27 (Drone Robot Cyborg), April 2013. See also Walach.

Calvino, Italo. “Cybernetics and Ghosts,” in The Uses of Literature, translated by Patrick Creagh (San Diego; New York; London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1986), pp. 3-27.

Duncan, Dennis. Oulipo and Modern Thought. Oxford; New York: Oxford University Press, 2019. Chapter 4: Calvino at a Crossroads: Combinatorics and Anticombinatorics, pp. 100-121.

Weiss, Beno. Understanding Italo Calvino. Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, 1993.

‘Unfortunately the English version omits the subtitle of Calvino’s lecture: “Appunti sulla narrativa come processo combinatorio” (comments concerning narrative as a combinatory process)’ [p. 160, note 17].

Calvino, Italo. “Prose and Anticombinatorics,” in Oulipo: A Primer of Potential Literature, translated and edited by Warren F. Motte, Jr. (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1986), pp. 143-152.

Duncan, Dennis. “Calvino, Llull, Lucretius: Two Models of Literary Combinatorics,” Comparative Literature 64.1 (2012): 93-109.

Raden, Justin. “The Mind Factory, Its Give and Take,” The Hypocrite Reader, Issue 27 | Drone Robot Cyborg | April 2013

Walach, Ryan. ‘Afterthought to “A Robo-Poet Does Not Scare Us”,' Hypocrite Reader, Issue 28 (Trauma And Laughter), May 2013. See also Branch.

Selected Fiction

Bierce, Ambrose. Moxon’s Master (Library of America: Story of the Week).

Liu Cixin. “The Poetry Cloud” (1997 / 2003), translated by Chi-Yin Ip and Cheuk Wong, in The Reincarnated Giant: An Anthology of Twenty-First-Century Chinese Science Fiction, edited by Song Mingwei (New York: Columbia University Press, 2018), pp. 143-173.

Also in The Big Book of Science Fiction: The Ultimate Collection, edited and with an introduction by Ann and Jeff VanderMeer (New York: Vintage Books, 2016).

“Cloud of Poetry,” translated by Carmen Yiling Yan, in Hold Up the Sky by Liu Cixin (London: Head of Zeus, 2020).

The Poetry Cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (by Liu Cixin, 1997, first English publication 2003) 

FAN Yilun. “The Identity Vacillation of a Technological Elite: The Tension between Poetry and Technology in Liu Cixin's "The Poetry Cloud" (Shi yun),” Frontiers of Literary Studies in China, 9 (3): 417–435.

Fiction (on this site)

Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.’s “Breakfast of Champions”: artificial intelligence

Love and Intellect II: For Blake, Against Nietzsche: Sources for Program (Vonnegut)

“Verstrand’s Extelopedia in 44 Magnetomes” [2 excerpts] by Stanislaw Lem

Stanislaw Lem’s bitic literature in ‘The Illogic of Kassel’ by Enrique Vila-Matas (see also Lem, below)


Artificial Intelligence” (1961) by Adrienne Rich (on this site)

Adrienne Rich (web site)

Stanislaw Lem

Golem XIV - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Golem XIV - Stanislaw Lem [Lem web site]

Golem - based on the short story by Stanislaw Lem [Polish]

Imaginary Magnitude/Golem XIV by Kit Roebuck

Dialogues by Stanisław Lem, translated by Peter Butko. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 2021.

Other fiction

Liu Cixin. “The Poetry Cloud” (1997/2003), in The Big Book of Science Fiction, edited by Ann & Jeff VanderMeer (New York: Vintage Books, 2016), pp. 1076-1096.

The Poetry Cloud - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Winterson, Jeanette. Frankissstein: A Love Story. New York: Grove Press, 2019.

Also on this site

Salvador Dali on cybernetics (with Alain Bosquet)

The prevention of literature: intellectual regimentation by George Orwell

Italo Calvino on Literature Machines & Utopia

Ways of Thinking (artificial intelligence, cognitive science, Hungarian literature) by László Mérő (1990)

The Ascent of GIM, the Global Intelligent Machine (Contents +) by Teun Koetsier

Robots in Finnegans Wake?

Ferdinand de Diego, “Teknozoismo,” Monda Kulturo, aŭtuno 1964, p. 278. [In Esperanto, review of Sándor Szathmári: Maŝinmondo kaj aliaj noveloj]

Bertram Potts, “La poemo-maŝino,” en Nokto da timo kaj aliaj noveloj (Åbyhøj: Dansk Esperanto Forlag, 1971), p. 66-80. [Amusing tale in Esperanto]

Manuel Halvelik pri identokrizo, artefarita inteligento, & Sándor Szathmári [konkludo de “Sciencismo kaj anti-sciencismo,” Simpozio, n-ro 13, majo 1989, p. 17-21].

Der Golem” (1847) [in German] by Leopold Weisel, with bibliography & links

Cybernetics & Das Netz

The Net (Das Netz, 2003) by Lutz Dammbeck


Dammbeck, Lutz. DAS NETZ - Die Konstruktion des Unabombers & Das "Unabomber-Manifest": Die Industrielle Gesellschaft und ihre Zukunft. 2, Aufl. edition. Edition Nautilus, 2015. (Nautilus Flugschrift)

Gerovitch, Slava. From Newspeak to Cyberspeak: A History of Soviet Cybernetics. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2002.

Heims, Steve Joshua. Constructing a Social Science for Postwar America: The Cybernetics Group, 1946-1953. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press, 1993 [1991].


Argomentazione (Argumentation in Artificial Intelligence)

AI^3 2017: Advances In Argumentation In Artificial Intelligence. Proceedings of the 1st Workshop on Advances In Argumentation In Artificial Intelligence co-located with XVI International Conference of the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence (AI*IA 2017), Bari, Italy, November 16-17, 2017.

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