Blade Runner 2049 : A Philosophical Exploration book cover
1st Edition

Blade Runner 2049
A Philosophical Exploration

ISBN 9781138625334
Published October 1, 2019 by Routledge
252 Pages - 4 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Widely acclaimed upon its release as a future classic, Denis Villeneuve’s Blade Runner 2049 is visually stunning, philosophically profound, and a provocative extension of the story in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Containing specially commissioned chapters by a roster of international contributors, this fascinating collection explores philosophical questions that abound in Blade Runner 2049, including:

  • What distinguishes the authentically "human" person?
  • How might natality condition one’s experience of being-in-the-world?
  • How might shared memories feature in the constitution of personal identities?
  • What happens when created beings transcend the limits intended in their design?
  • What (if anything) is it like to be a hologram?

  • Can artificial beings participate in genuinely romantic relationships?

  • How might developing artificial economics impact our behaviour as prosumers?
  • What are the implications of techno-human enhancement in an era of surveillance capitalism?

Including a foreword by Denis Villeneuve, Blade Runner 2049: A Philosophical Exploration is essential reading for anyone interested in philosophy, film studies, philosophy of mind, psychology, gender studies, and conceptual issues in cognitive science and artificial intelligence.

Table of Contents

Foreword Denis Villeneuve

Introduction Timothy Shanahan and Paul Smart

1. We’re All Just Looking Out for Something Real Timothy Shanahan

2. The Alphabet of Us: Miracles, Messianism, and the Baseline Test in Blade Runner 2049 Stephen Mulhall

3. The "Miracle" of Replicant Reproduction Fiona Woollard

4. Being-from-Birth: Natality and Narrative Brian Treanor

5. The Best Memories: Identity, Narrative, and Objects Richard Heersmink and Christopher Jude McCarroll

6. Breaking the Code: Strong Agency and Becoming a Person Robert W. Clowes

7. The Joi of Holograms Paul Smart

8. Androids Dream of Virtual Sheep Wanja Wiese and Thomas Metzinger

9. Her Eyes Were Green: Intimate Relationships in Blade Runner 2049 Timothy Shanahan

10. Artificial Economics Paul Smart

11. The Eyes of God Nigel Shadbolt and Paul Smart

12. What Am I to You? The Deck-a-Rep Debate and the Question of Fictional Truth Timothy Shanahan.


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Timothy Shanahan is Professor of Philosophy at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, and the author of Philosophy and Blade Runner (2014).

Paul Smart is a researcher at the New University of Lisbon, Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Southampton, UK, and a freelance cognitive science consultant, specializing in machine learning and virtual reality technologies.

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Author - Timothy  Shanahan

Timothy Shanahan

Professor of Philosophy, Loyola Marymount University
Los Angeles, California, USA

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"To think that Blade Runner 2049 sparked such conversations and stimulated such reflections about humanity and artificial intelligence sincerely deeply moves me... That is one of the reasons I love the very existence of this book." - Denis Villeneuve, Director of Blade Runner 2049