Evil, dangerous, and just like us: androids and Cylons in Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) and Battlestar Galactica (2003)
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The nature of humanity and what it means to be human has long been the focus of science fiction writers in all media. In this analysis of Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? and Ronald D. Moore and David Eick’s reimagined Battlestar Galactica, the author examines the relationships that exist between the humans and the humanoid robots they create, and how this reveals something of what it might mean to be human or non-human. In the search for a separate identity, the humans reject the similarities that link them to the machines they encounter. By accepting that humans and androids – or humans and Cylons – are far more similar than they are different, and that the few physical differences between them are far less important than the emotional, religious, and relational similarities and connections they share, both human and nonhuman beings in these texts could develop a posthuman identity. Posthumanism in this context is about what the human can share with the humanoid robot, a being created in the image of the human who is also a machine; it is about moving beyond the importance of the body, but also beyond the importance of the rational mind in favour of emotional connection. A posthuman existence would allow both groups to remain unique, but also allow them to share in a common identity or, perhaps, society in which both are recognized and valued for the relationships they hold with each other.
DegreeMaster of Arts (M.A.)
SupervisorBanco, Lindsey M.
Copyright DateSeptember 2011
Dick, Philip K.
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep
Ronald D. Moore