Debating Human-Nonhuman Boundaries in Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Keywords:Android, artificial, blurring boundary, natural, posthumanism
This paper explores the ever-changing relationship between humans and nonhumans (machines) in a technologically advanced world specially focusing on Philip K. Dick’s novel, Do androids dream of electric sheep?employing posthuman perspective. It critically examines howmachines, in the form of humanoid robots, are endowed withqualities that are traditionally considered human. This concept of humanoid robot is unique in terms of technical artifacts and human relationship to technology. The traditional idea of humanism that regards all other nonhumans as subordinate to humans cannot function in this case. The qualities like natural and artificial, mind and body, self-developing and externally designed are normally used to draw the lines between man and machines. This study exposes that the writer artistically blurs the boundaries between humans and nonhumans by presenting highly advanced humanoid robots called androids with a complex Nexus-6operating system that functions as both subject and object, user and used. Then, it moves to show the need of present time, that is companion relationship between man and machines. Following qualitative research design and using critical analytical method for textual analysis, this studyexamines the dynamics of human- nonhuman relationship and blurred boundaries with the light of posthumanism. Especially it uses the critical insights of Rosi Braidotti and Donna Harraway.