Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner is widely regarded as a "masterpiece of modern cinema" and is regularly ranked as one of the great films of all time. Set in a dystopian future where the line between human beings and ‘replicants’ is blurred, the film raises a host of philosophical questions about what it is to be human, the possibility of moral agency and freedom in ‘created’ life forms, and the capacity of cinema to make a genuine contribution to our engagement with these kinds of questions.
This volume of specially commissioned chapters systematically explores and addresses these issues from a philosophical point of view. Beginning with a helpful introduction, the seven chapters examine the following questions:
- How is the theme of death explored in Blade Runner and with what implications for our understanding of the human condition?
- What can we learn about the relationship between emotion and reason from the depiction of the ‘replicants’ in Blade Runner?
- How are memory, empathy, and moral agency related in Blade Runner?
- How does the style and ‘mood’ of Blade Runner bear upon its thematic and philosophical significance?
- Is Blade Runner a meditation on the nature of film itself?
Including a brief biography of the director and a detailed list of references to other writings on the film, Blade Runner is essential reading for students – indeed anyone - interested in philosophy and film studies.
Contributors: Colin Allen, Peter Atterton, Amy Coplan, David Davies, Berys Gaut, Stephen Mulhall, C. D. C. Reeve.