Blade Runner Rhetorical Analysis

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The stimulus above is a quote from the movie ‘Blade Runner’. The quote above is delivered by a machine called a replicant, a machine that is capable of mimicking a human being. In suggesting that this machine is able to replicate a human in some emotional capacity, the stimulus raises the preliminary question of whether or not we can know what it is like to be a replicant (as it is something that mimics our own behaviours such as in the case of feeling sad)? If we can consider a replicant to be human, then ultimately, we can know what it is like to be a replicant. Thus if a replicant can mimic our own behaviours, can we call it human? The concept of behaviourism would suggest that this is the case, whilst Nagel’s concepts of the mind would argue the opposite. In what will follow, …show more content…
Nagel gives us the idea that there is a consciousness in most living things, and that this is not reducible to physical characteristics. In “What is it like it be a bat?”, Nagel identifies that each organism has ‘something that it is like to be that organism’, otherwise known as the ‘subjective character’ of experience. He argues that this subjective experience is not able to be captured by any theories that attempt to reduce the mind to the body. This is because it is impossible to describe the full account of what it is like to be bat in physical terms because the physical terms are based on how we see the world. If we describe the bat being blind and using hearing as a way to navigate, how can we imagine what it is like to see with our ears? In essence the subjective character of something can only be an extension of our own subjective experience. Thus we cannot know what it is like to be a replicant because it does not share the same subjective disposition as us, we can only imagine what it is like to be a

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