• Timothy Shanahan


One of Blade Runner’s most intriguing scenes takes place in Sebastian’s toy-cluttered apartment. Roy Batty looks up from Sebastian’s chess game to see his host gazing at him in fascination, prompting him to ask him why he is staring. ‘Because,’ Sebastian answers, ‘You’re so different. You’re so perfect.’ When Roy confirms that they are Nexus 6 replicants, Sebastian is delighted:

Sebastian: Ah, I knew it! … Show me something.

Roy: Like what?

Sebastian: Like anything.

Roy: We’re not computers, Sebastian! We’re physical.

Pris: I think, Sebastian, therefore I am.

Roy: Very good Pris, now show him why.

After briefly considering her options, Pris plunges her hand into a beaker of boiling water, retrieves an egg, tosses it to Sebastian, and then performs an elegant back-walkover. The entire scene takes only about a minute, but it contains a wealth of profound ideas, as well as puzzles.


Causal Power Brain State Folk Psychology Material Thing Mere Computer 
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Copyright information

© Timothy Shanahan 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Timothy Shanahan
    • 1
  1. 1.Loyola Marymount UniversityUSA

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