On 'Blade Runner'

Episode 116 · February 16th, 2022 · 1 hr 28 mins

About this Episode

In his 1978 bestseller The Selfish Gene, Richard Dawkins described humans as "survival machines" whose sole purpose is the replication of genes. All of culture needed to be understood as a side-effect, if not an epiphenomenon, of that defining function. Four years after Dawkins' book was published, Warner Brothers released Blade Runner, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick's dystopian novel Do Androis Dream of Electric Sheep?. Ridley Scott's film presents us with a different kind of survival machine: the replicant, a technology whose sole function is the replication of human beings. In this episode, Phil and JF discuss the ethical, metaphysical, and aesthetic dimensions of one of the greatest and most prophetic science fiction films of all time.

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Ridley Scott (dir.), Blade Runner

Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Philip K. Dick, “The Android and the Human”
Philip K. Dick, “Man, Android, and Machine”
Dennis Villeneuve (dir.), Blade Runner 2049
Weird Studies, Episode 114 on the Wheel of Fortune
Scott Bukatman, Blade Runner: BFI Film Classics
Alan Nourse, The Bladerunner
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Richard Dawkins, The Selfish Gene
Todd Gitlin, The Sixties: Years of Hope, Days of Rage
Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism
Weird Studies, Episode 5 on “When Nothing is Cool”
JF Martel, “Reality is Analog: Philosophizing with Stranger Things
John Carpenter (dir,), The Thing
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Sigmund Freud, “The Uncanny”
Weird Studies, Episode 86 on “The Sandman”
Orson Welles (dir.), Touch of Evil
George Orwell, 1984