Philosophical Issues in Blade Runner

One central theme in this movie is the question what makes someone human, as opposed to a machine or a replicant. The movie emphasizes the difficulties humans have appreciating what makes them human.

Another central theme in the movie has to do with false memories, and your knowledge of who you are.

The movie raises questions like this: Which of your memories are real, and which of them really come from someone else's childhood? How could you tell the difference? Would it make a difference? That is, would it be important which of your memories were your own? Or should we rather have the attitude that the character Cypher takes towards living in The Matrix: "Ignorance is bliss," it doesn't matter if it's an illusion.

This theme will be important for our discussion of personal identity, later in the course.