More human than human? (Lack of) posthumanism in Blade Runner
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This study investigates the 1982 science-fiction film Blade Runner, and argues that despite its posthumanist themes and characters, it is ultimately a humanist work of art instead. The literary analysis of the film is combined with posthumanist theory from Rosi Braidotti, who states that posthumanism must reject humanism’s idea that Man is central to all of life and forms of measurement. I argue that the film’s humans and Replicants do not correspond to the attributes they are expected to have, and further analyse protagonist Rick Deckard’s ambiguous identity and argue that it does not lead to a rejection of the centrality of the human subject. I conclude that while Blade Runner may make us sympathise with its posthuman characters, the film ultimately does not reject Man’s centrality because the human characters remain unchallenged in their elevated societal and political position.
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