The Author As Explorer: Judging Philip K. Dick's Relevance and Value for Discussions on the Faculty of Memory and the Posthuman Condition
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This thesis discusses select examples from Philip K. Dick's fictional oeuvre while attempting to build a bridge to and between three views on the location of the faculty of memory and two views on the posthuman relation between the mind and the body. By engaging with rather essentialist views on the location of memory (Draaisma, Baddeley, Schacter and others), views that free up memory by locating it in the media (Landsberg) and perspectives that increasingly disembody the mind from the human skin bag (Lyotard, Clark and Hayles), this thesis argues that Dick's fictions contain and contribute to various (interconnected) strands of science and philosophy. Analysis will show that Dick's novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968) incorporates views on the purity of memory and the artificiality of the body to sustain a larger narrative on existentialism and humanity. Throughout this thesis, Dick's imagination and conceptualisation will be treated as prophetic forces that have the power to render abstract ideas concrete and imaginable.