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Clark Chen
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Discussion of John Isidore and the essence of Nexus-6

on Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:36 pm
Existentialists always believe in the concept that if there's no existence, it's meaningless to talk about essence. That is to say, we have to exist first in order to pursue our self-determined goals. However, this concept remains invaild to androids. According to the novel, androids were manufactured with clear essences of serving the human race, which is equlivant to the saying that they didn't have to exist to have a goal, they were pre-determined with that. As a result, they didn't need empathy which is a kind of emotion to make people set goals. That's why a simple test can distinct people from andys.
With that in mind, John Isidore can be considered very special. Isidore lived in a hideous apartment with dying body and “kipples” everywhere. Although we can attribute Isidore's behavior to PTSD symptons after WWT, still he spent too much time to exist with out essence. Also, in the novel, Isidore held the character of a total loser. In chapter 2, he even failed an IQ test with absolute minority, and even called himself as “chickenhead”. I know that a lot of us will call ourselves as “idiotic nerd” nowadays, but no one will take it seriously because we all possess a kind of proud about our uniqueness in essence. However, Isidore didn't. In fact, Isidore is losing his existence because of his lack in essence. So, that explained his excitment after seeing Pris moving in. Having a neighbour evoked his essence of being a normal social man. That is, he had to made up his essence in order to exist. So, Isidore is indeed a funny guy.
Shifting to Nexus-6s, they do exist, but it's hard to determine their essences. You can kill Nexus-6s, you can touch them, or slap them in the face.So, they do exist as entities. However, because they had way too complicated neuron networks, their essences remains blur. By simple analogy, you will find that they can pursue more sophiscated essences other than being a good servant for someone. As we can infer from Pris, andys were not happy about getting surprrssed by humans and they wanted to rebel. Pris is a older model than Nexus-6s. So, what would Nexus-6s do when they were not satisfied? Probably rebel against humans and gain independence.
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Re: Discussion of John Isidore and the essence of Nexus-6

on Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:06 pm
Clark's discussions on John Isidore is pretty interesting. He mentioned that John kept losing his essence due to his disappointment about himself until he met Rachel, who is a stranger to him. In this way, John became a good example of a human being who demonstrates existentialists' ideas. John doesn't hold a pre-determined long-term essence or value. As time pass, his currently-gained goals could disappear. Meanwhile, he can also create new meaning of his life as he coincidentally meets a stranger.
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RE: Discussion of John Isidore and the essence of Nexus-6

on Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:45 am
I think Clark's discussion of John Isidore is really effective for us to understand the concept of essence. I'm glad that Clark brought about Isidore, who is a special character in the story. I agree that Isidore lost his essence a little based on his behavior because he expressed his disappointment in his words but humans should be proud of their essence and who they are. After he met Rachel, that situation indeed changed. Speaking of the essence of Nexus-6, I believe their essences are getting more and more similar to those of humans, and are indeed more complicated. I think the essences of Nexus-6 and humans are both about finding their own value.
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Re: Discussion of John Isidore and the essence of Nexus-6

on Thu Mar 29, 2018 8:42 pm
Clack’s argue about John Isidore is quite interesting. However, I do not totally agree with his opinion that Isidore is losing his existence. Isidore’s existence is never lost. From my point of view, existence contains two statuses, physical existence and mental existence. Since he never thought to kill himself, he still physically exists. Mental existence, different from physical existence, requires care from other people. As long as there are people caring, a person’s spirit will last. If there is no one caring about you, your mental will no longer exist, just as what “vaporize” and “unperson” in George Orwell’s 1984. In chapter 7, when his boss first called him “chickenhead”, the author wrote “Never before had he used that term in front of Isidore”, which implies that others do care him in some degree. So, Isidore’s mental still exist too. But I do agree with Clark’s opinion that he lack essence.
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Re: Discussion of John Isidore and the essence of Nexus-6

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