Day 178 — Film Resource Blade Runner

A combination of science fiction and film noir, Blade Runner poses questions about what it means to be human and the potential of artificial intelligence (in the form of androids called ‘replicants’) changing our perceptions of personhood. The plot revolves around the powerful Tyrell Corporation, which designs replicants to do ‘off world’ / outer space work; the jobs which are menial, dangerous — and designed only to serve humans in… you guessed it, the far distant future of 2019.

In this time, a mutiny by four replicants results in an escape to Los Angeles, where bounty-hunters known as ‘Blade Runners’ are authorised to destroy them. But what happens when a Blade Runner falls in love with a suspected replicant?

The legal and moral status of the replicants; is it murder or is it death penalty; the value of life (artificial or not), and the influences of personal attachment are some of the themes that arise from the film. But I think the unanswered questions about the characters and the setting encourages debate about the issues of ethics, justice and personhood. While Blade Runner is sometimes a confusing film (I still can’t figure out if Rachael is meant to be a replicant or not…), it’s a useful one for philosophical discussion.

Further Resources:

Philosophical Films — Blade Runner

Blade Runner and Sartre — The Boundaries of Humanity