Persons and Popper's World 3: Do Humans Dream of Electric Sheep?

In Jeffrey A. Schaler (ed.), Szasz Under Fire: The Psychiatric Abolitionist Faces His Critics. Open Court Publishing Company. pp. 119-130 (2004)
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Abstract
In the film classic Blade Runner, the story explores the notion of personal identity through that of carefully crafted androids. Can an android have a personality; can androids be persons? The title of the original story by Philip K. Dick is Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? The story suggests that our sense of being a person depends on our having memories that connect us with our childhood. In the movie, the androids are only a couple of years old, but have adult bodies. To complete them as persons they are given simulated memories of childhood. Some psychiatrists have decided that even humans dream only of electric sheep. I explore how Popper’s world 3 can help to defend a notion of personhood that can be used to criticize the thesis that persons are simply complex physical processes and that all their serious life-problems can be conceptualised as a form of physical illness.
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