Rick Deckard  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
List of fictional robots and androids, Fictional portrayals of psychopaths in film

Rick Deckard is the protagonist in Philip K. Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? as well as Ridley Scott's 1982 science fiction film Blade Runner, based on the novel. In the film, Rick Deckard was played by Harrison Ford. It has been suggested that Rick Deckard's name may be a punnish reference to René Descartes, whose philosophical writings include several on the topic of what is and is not human, as well as the concept of the human body as a machine. This interpretation is reinforced by the reference to his famous statement "I think, therefore I am", by the character Pris (to the robotics engineer/scientist J. F. Sebastian).

Psychopathic automatons and Blade Runner

Rick Deckard is an example of the "fictional psychopath", a relentlessly murderous automaton portrayed by Harrison Ford in Ridley Scott's Blade Runner is an example of a dystopian psychopath who discovers what it means to be human, and a human discovers that he has more than a little in common with a psychopath.

The artificially designed and genetically enhanced "replicants", have a four-year lifespan as a failsafe against their developing destabilising emotions. One such replicant, Roy Batty (Rutger Hauer), ceases to be destructive and murderous and — in a sudden unexpected volte-face — turns compassionate and humane when he finally realizes the implications of his own mortality and begins to empathize with the suffering, fearful condition of the actual humans he terrorizes. This holds up a mirror to the parallel development of Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford), the "Bladerunner", whose vocation is to ruthlessly exterminate any escaped replicant, regardless of how benign or harmless they might be. Deckard begins to question his calling when he becomes closely involved with Rachael (Sean Young), a female replicant who seems just a little too human for him to continue to justify morally the sort of brutal summary "retirement" which the law warrants against such artificial beings.

The film raises the question of where the moral agency of conscience-endowed humanity ends and the amoral automatism of psychopathic inhumanity begins.




Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Rick Deckard" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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