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More Human Than Humans

O'Connor, Robert ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-8892-5929 (2019) More Human Than Humans. In: Bunce, Robin and McCrossin, Trip, (eds.) Blade Runner 2049 and Philosophy: This Breaks the World. & Philosophy series (127). Open Court Publishing, pp. 51-59

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Abstract

Abstract
The theorist N. Katherine Hayles describes the posthuman body as a networked system, with external agents influencing the existence of that system. In this era of technological advancement this concept is most clearly seen in the motif of the cyborg: technology affecting our biological “self”, improving our capacity. Yet it is also important to consider how this symbiosis affects concepts of identity.
The films Blade Runner (1982) and Blade Runner 2049 (2017) both explore crucial questions regarding identity. The replicant characters in this film are representative of the cyborg, a symbiosis of biological entities with technological advancements (in this case, the presence of bioengineering science and programmed memories). Both films expand upon the idea posed by Philip K Dick in Do Androids Dream, of Electric Sheep? (1968): how programmed memories are still capable of providing the context for an artificial entity’s existence and identity. Both Blade Runner and Blade Runner 2049, through the replicant characters, explore the question of what constitutes identity in a posthuman entity.
By examining the characters of Roy Baty, K and Joi this chapter will demonstrate how the Blade Runner universe effectively approaches the concept of what it means to be posthuman.

Item Type: Book Section
Status: Published
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1993 Films
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/5998

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