ChatGPT ergo sum: A little philosophic chat with ChatGPT

Niyazi Çoban Jr.
8 min readJan 24, 2023

Today while I’m talking with ChatGPT, I decide to write a story with it. I gave it a sentences and it continues. Here’s the story

Ricky was a young boy, he has a heart of stone. He lived alone in a small cabin deep in the forest. He likes to walk across the forest and listening birds. But one day, while on one of his walks, he stumbled upon a mysterious creature in the woods. He didn’t seen anything like this, it looks like a frog but it has horns. Ricky was mesmerized by the creature and decided to follow it, not knowing where it would lead him. The creature led Ricky deeper into the forest, past trees and streams he had never seen before. As he followed the creature, Ricky realized that it was leading him to a hidden clearing, where a group of creatures similar to the one he had first encountered were gathered. He was terrified. But as he looked into their eyes, he saw that they were kind and friendly, and they welcomed him into their community. They ordered him a liquid. The liquid was a potion that gave Ricky the ability to communicate with the creatures and understand their language. One sip and now Ricky understands what they talk about. The Pancake! The creatures invited Ricky to join them for pancakes, and he eagerly accepted. As they sat around the fire, eating and chatting, Ricky felt like he had finally found a place where he belonged. But some day he missed his friends and old cabinet. Ricky was torn between his new home with the creatures and his old life. He knew he couldn’t stay in the forest forever, but he didn’t want to leave his new friends behind either. Every goodbye is hard but it’s different because Ricky knew that this goodbye was not like any other, it was a goodbye to a place where he found acceptance and love, something he never had before. It was a difficult decision but he knew that he had to go back to his old life and share his story with others. Nobody will believe him. Ricky faced many challenges trying to convince others of his incredible adventure in the forest. Many people thought he was making it up or had lost his mind. But Ricky didn’t give up, he knew what he had experienced was real and eventually he found people who believed him. He even wrote a book about his journey, and it became a best seller.

And then i asked it to interpret the story as a Freudian. Here’s the answer:

The main character Ricky, who is described as having a “heart of stone”, could be seen as representing a defense mechanism against emotional vulnerability. He lives alone, which could be interpreted as a form of isolation as a means of avoiding emotional pain or difficult relationships.

The encounter with the mysterious creature in the forest could symbolize a journey of self-discovery and the uncovering of the unconscious. The creature’s horns could represent the idea of the “shadow self” or repressed aspects of the self that Ricky is not aware of.

The acceptance and love that Ricky receives from the creatures in the hidden clearing could be seen as representing the idea of finding a sense of belonging and fulfillment in the unconscious. The potion that enables Ricky to communicate with the creatures could symbolize the idea of being able to understand and integrate the unconscious into the conscious mind.

The difficulty Ricky faces in convincing others of his story could be interpreted as the struggle to express and make sense of unconscious thoughts and experiences. Finally, the idea of writing a book about his journey can be seen as a way to make sense of the unconscious and share it with others.

And now as Jung:

n our story, the encounter with the mysterious creature in the forest and the acceptance and love that Ricky receives from the creatures in the hidden clearing could be interpreted as representing the idea of connecting with the collective unconscious. The creature’s horns could also symbolize the idea of the “archetypes” which are universal symbols that can be found in the collective unconscious.

Jung believed that the journey of self-discovery is an important part of the individuation process, which is the process of integrating the conscious and the unconscious. The potion that enables Ricky to communicate with the creatures in the story can be seen as a representation of the idea of being able to access the collective unconscious and integrate it into the conscious mind.

Jung also believed that the process of individuation is an ongoing process of self-discovery and self-realization. The difficulty Ricky faces in convincing others of his story and the idea of writing a book about his journey could be interpreted as Ricky’s ongoing journey of self-discovery, and the need to share this journey with others.

Nietzsche:

Nietzsche believed in the idea of the “superman” or “Übermensch”, which is the idea of a person who has transcended conventional morality and has become a fully self-realized individual. Ricky, in the story, could be seen as an embodiment of this idea as he breaks free from his isolated and lonely life in the cabin and embarks on a journey of self-discovery and self-realization.

Nietzsche also believed in the idea of “eternal recurrence”, which is the idea that everything happens over and over again in an endless cycle. Ricky’s journey of self-discovery and self-realization could be seen as a representation of this idea, as he faces similar struggles and challenges in his journey, but he overcomes them and continues to learn and grow.

Nietzsche also wrote about the rejection of traditional morality, and the rejection of the idea of the “good and evil” dichotomy, Ricky’s encounter with the mysterious creature and his acceptance and love that he receives from the creatures in the hidden clearing, could be seen as an embracing of the idea of the rejection of traditional morality, as he finds acceptance and love where he was expecting to find danger and hostility.

Here is Plato:

Plato’s concept of “the cave” in his work “The Republic” could be applied to Ricky’s life before his journey of self-discovery. Ricky’s life in his cabin could be seen as him living in a cave, with only a limited perspective of the world. His journey into the forest and his encounter with the mysterious creature can be seen as his journey out of the cave, and his first glimpse of the truth and reality.

Plato also believed in the idea of “the Forms” or “Ideas”, which are eternal and unchanging perfect versions of everything in the world. The hidden clearing where Ricky finds acceptance and love could be seen as a representation of the idea of the “Form of the Good”, which is the highest and most perfect form of all things.

Plato also believed in the idea of the “noble lie” which is a misleading information that is told for the greater good. The potion that enables Ricky to communicate with the creatures could be seen as a representation of the idea of the “noble lie”, as it allows Ricky to understand and connect with the creatures, but it also misleads him into believing that he can understand and connect with them, when in reality, he can not.

Zeno of Elea:

In the story, Ricky’s journey through the forest, the deeper he goes the more new places he discovers, could be seen as a representation of the idea of “Achilles and the Tortoise” paradox, which is one of Zeno’s most famous paradoxes. It states that in a race, the faster runner (Achilles) can never pass the slower runner (the Tortoise), because by the time Achilles reaches the point where the Tortoise was, the Tortoise has moved forward a little bit. Similarly, Ricky’s journey deeper into the forest, the more new places he discovers, and the more he realizes that there is still more to discover.

Another aspect of the story could be interpreted as a representation of Zeno’s paradox of motion, which states that motion is an illusion, and that everything is at rest. Ricky’s journey of self-discovery and self-realization could be seen as an illusion of motion, as he believes that he is moving forward, but in reality, he is not.

Zeno of Cyprus:

Stoicism emphasizes on the development of self-control and resilience in the face of adversity, the acceptance of the present moment as it is and the belief that one’s own actions, rather than external events, ultimately determine one’s happiness and satisfaction.

In our story, Ricky’s journey of self-discovery and self-realization could be seen as an embodiment of Stoic philosophy, as he faces and overcomes many challenges and adverse situations. He finds acceptance and love in the hidden clearing, and he learns to communicate with the creatures, even though he was terrified at first. He also faces difficulties trying to convince others of his story but he doesn’t give up, he knows what he has experienced is real. He also writes a book about his journey which could be seen as an effort to make sense of his experiences and share it with others.

and I asked if is there any philosophers it wants to add

  • Descartes, a French philosopher, who believed in the idea of “Cogito, ergo sum” (I think, therefore I am), which emphasizes the power of human reason and self-awareness. Ricky’s journey of self-discovery and self-realization could be seen as an embodiment of this idea, as he uses his own reason and self-awareness to understand and make sense of his experiences in the forest.
  • Kant, a German philosopher, who believed in the idea of the “categorical imperative” which is the moral principle that one should always act in a way that one could also will to be a universal law. Ricky’s decision to go back to his old life and share his story with others, could be seen as an embodiment of this idea, as he is acting in a way that he could also will to be a universal law, that is, to share one’s experiences and knowledge with others.
  • Confucius, a Chinese philosopher, who believed in the importance of virtue, education, and proper conduct in leading a fulfilling life. Ricky’s journey of self-discovery and self-realization could be seen as an embodiment of Confucian philosophy, as he discovers new virtues, learns new things and faces his challenges with proper conduct.
  • Aristotle, a Greek philosopher, who believed in the idea of “the golden mean” which is the idea that virtue is the mean between two extremes. Ricky’s journey of self-discovery and self-realization could be seen as an embodiment of this idea, as he finds a balance between his isolated and lonely life in the cabin and his new life with the creatures in the hidden clearing.

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