Android Empathy

Laurence A. Rickels

in I Think I Am

Published by University of Minnesota Press

Published in print June 2010 | ISBN: 9780816666652
Published online August 2015 | e-ISBN: 9781452946566 | DOI:
Android Empathy

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This chapter explores how the distinction between humans and androids, between empathy and psychopathy, traverses every human psyche. In the movie Blade Runner, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) busts an android network and senses that he, as the Form Destroyer, is impinging on a microcosm of life. Thus he rises to the occasion as overseer and death driver while the androids are miniaturized, in a sense, inside their representation of world or life. In both Blade Runner and the novel on which it is based, science fiction writer Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, the android begins to enter the field of testing as object of empathy. Blade Runner departs from or exceeds the safe enclosure of its android self-reflexivity in the closing staging of finitude, for androids and humans alike.

Keywords: humans; androids; empathy; psychopathy; human psyche; Blade Runner; science fiction; Philip K. Dick; Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep; self-reflexivity

Chapter.  5899 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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