I forgot the title of the short story.

It is about a man who is in court because of his prostheses.

If I remember correctly he was a famous motorbiker.

A company wants all his prostheses back, because of financial stuff (don't remember exactly).

That includes half his brain, which makes loud noises.

The end of the story is:

he gets to keep the prostheses.

I read this story in German in my philosophy class in 2008 or so (but it was definitely older). I don't remember which author it was or whether it was translated from another language.

I am not sure if it was in a book with other stories, because we just got a printout.


This is "Do you exist, Mr. Jones?" (alternatively translated as "Are you there, Mr. Jones?") by Stanisław Lem:

  • The protagonist, Harry Jones, is an auto racer.
  • During his career, he had suffered multiple injuries and had all of his organs, including his brain, replaced by luxury prostheses.
  • His brain, manufactured under the brand name "Geniac", is a repurposed tabulator, which makes loud noises when Jones is thinking hard.
  • The prostheses were financed and he had defaulted on the loan.
  • The manufacturer or the prostheses, the company named "Cybernetics, Co.", is seeking to repossess the prostheses in the court of law.

The court is unable to make a decision, because it is unclear whether Mr. Jones is a natural person (who cannot be repossessed) or property (that cannot be sued)

This story discusses the question of personal identity (similar to Theseus's Ship or Grandfather's Axe, but in humans).

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