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Futuristic Societies. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? Philip K. Dick, 1968. Philip K. Dick, 1928-1982. Born in Chicago Began writing 1952 Interest in metaphysics and theology Questioning the universe Fictionalizing philosophizer 44 published novels, 121 short stories

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Futuristic societies

Futuristic Societies

Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Philip K. Dick, 1968

Philip k dick 1928 1982
Philip K. Dick, 1928-1982

Born in Chicago

Began writing 1952

Interest in metaphysics and theology

Questioning the universe

Fictionalizing philosophizer

44 published novels,

121 short stories

Blade runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly

The apocalypse
The Apocalypse?

What is behind our appetite for doomsday visions?

Are we confronting deep-seated species-wide fear?

Can’t we wait for the end of the world?

Philosophy & Culture

The Road , 2006, Cormac McCarthy.

It is a post-apocalyptic tale of a journey taken by a father and his young son over a period of several months, across a landscape blasted by an unnamed cataclysm that destroyed all civilization and, apparently, almost all life on earth.


An android is a robot or synthetic organism designed to look and act like a human.

Largely within the domain of science fiction

Frequently seen in film and television.


Honda and several other corporations and private enterprises have developed impressive androids

A long way to go to make them fully human like.

C 3po

Star Wars – Luke Skywalker and c-3po


What constitutes the quality of being human?

What role does nature play for humans?

Destruction of the world as we know it

Insanity of humans

Non-comprehension of their insanity


Artificial humans

Artificial animals


Empathy – group fusion / moral choices

Move to Mars!

Social body
Social Body

Michel Foucault:“the idea of a social body constituted by the universality of wills” is a great fantasy

the “phenomenon of the social body is the effect not of a consensus but of the materiality of power operating on the very bodies of individuals.”

Earth has created a hierarchy of power

Futuristic societies

The “Specials”

Empathy – social structure

Rational hope?

Religious hope?



Rick deckard bounty hunter
Rick Deckard, Bounty Hunter

Married to Iran

No children, but an artificial sheep

Identity linked to destroyed nature

Creation of a subject-identity ~ possession of power over an animal (nature)

Fake nature  fake identity  grey zone between human and android

Android are indistinguishable from humans  empathy test





Identity crisis

Power hierarchy

Annual, decisive personality tests

Buster Friendly


Survival of the fittest

Central irony

Fulfillment humanity
Fulfillment & Humanity?

Empathy and fusion

Human = non-android

Empathy solely towards other humans

Doubt creates a dilemma  despair and resignation

Inter-subjective identity formation as key to humanity

The empathy box


Marital relationships ~ Rachel Rosen

Reconciling the diminishing distinction between humans and androids

Mercer: “the basic condition of life to be required to violate your own identity”

Enlightenment – The Tomb World


Religion called Mercerism

Establish ethical, moral norms of behavior

Create empathetic fusion

Shame / blushing reaction

Mercer, the person ~ Jesus?

Repetitive cycle – no forward momentum

Opposed to Kierkegaard – the individual + God

Humans and animals
Humans and Animals



Mankind’s inherent stupidity

Wrong choices


Collective path to doom

Self-destruction / Existential angst

Blade runner 1982
Blade Runner, 1982

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