The Universe Solved


Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick

Philip K. Dick (16 December 1928 - 2 March 1982) was an American science fiction writer, known mostly for well known works that were later turned into films, such as Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, Paycheck, and The Adjustment Bureau.  His many literary awards include a Hugo Award for best novel (“The Man in the High Castle”), The John W. Campbell Memorial Award for best novel (“Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said”), and the British Science Fiction Award for best novel (“A Scanner Darkly”).


Dick had a number of paranormal experiences, including hallucinations, clairvoyance, precognition, the mystical acquisition of fundamental wisdom, possession, and the feeling of having split lives.  Although mental illness and questioning reality were themes of his work prior to these experiences, they impacted his worldview and had an influence on his writing post-1974.




In a 1977 interview at a conference in France, Dick remarked, in a serious tone, that “we are living in a computer-programmed reality, and the only clue we have to it is when some variable is changed, and some alteration in our reality occurs.”  By this he meant that a déjà vu might be an indication of the branching off of an alternative reality, a theme that was picked up in the movie “The Matrix” 22 years later.  So, while Konrad Zuse may have been the first to propose a digital reality, Dick seems to have been the first to proposed some programming, and hence, intelligence, behind it.


It appears that Dick did not subscribe to the view that consciousness is an artifact of the physical brain.  In his book, “I Think I Am,” for example, he argues, “our 'unconscious' is not an unconscious at all but another consciousness, with which we have a tenuous relationship.  It is this other mind or consciousness that dreams us at night.”  As such, it appears that he would tend to support the consciousness-driven digital reality model rather than the deterministic digital model of reality.


External Links:

- IMDb Page


Blade Runner

The Movie "Blade Runner"

More Philosophers