‘How Can It Not Know What It Is?’: Self and Other in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner

Film-Philosophy 17 (1):19-50 (2013)

In this essay I provide a reading of Ridley Scott's Blade Runner that focuses upon the question of the kind of creatures the Replicants are depicted as being, and the meaning that depiction should have for us. I draw upon Stanley Cavell's account of the problem of other minds to argue that the empathy test is in fact a mode of resisting the acknowledgment of others. And I draw upon Martin Heidegger's account of authenticity and mortality to argue that this acknowledgment is crucial if one would become human. The film does not so much suggest that Replicants are, as such, human, but rather that humanity is won through the encounter with the inauthentic
Keywords acknowledgment, authenticity, William Blake, Blade Runner, Stanley Cavell, Philip K. Dick, empathy, Martin Heidegger, humanity, identity, Theodor Lipps, mortality, other minds, Replicants, Ridley Scott, scepticism, slaves, the uncanny
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DOI 10.3366/film.2013.0002
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References found in this work BETA

A Treatise of Human Nature.David Hume & A. D. Lindsay - 1958 - Philosophical Quarterly 8 (33):379-380.
The Concept of Mind.Gilbert Ryle - 1949 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 141:125-126.
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding.John Locke - 1979 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 169 (2):221-222.
Sein und Zeit.Martin Heidegger - 1928 - Annalen der Philosophie Und Philosophischen Kritik 7:161-161.

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Citations of this work BETA

Blade Runner’s Humanism: Cinema and Representation.Joshua Foa Dienstag - 2015 - Contemporary Political Theory 14 (2):101-119.

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