The arguments of French philosopher René Descartes (1596-1650) have had an enormous impact on philosophy. In what follows, Descartes arguments will be examined through the contemporary viewfinder of Alejandro Amenábar’s Abre los Ojos (1997). The intention, however, is not to use the film as a mere vehicle for conveying Descartes’ thought, but rather to consider whether the particular context that Amenábar provides, and the nature of film itself, can enhance our understanding and and provide fresh insight into the issues that Descartes raises.
If one subject, more than any other, has come to dominate philosophical inquiry it is epistemology. Epistemology deals with questions concerning the nature of knowledge, what we can know, and how we come to know it. Modern philosophy’s focus on epistemology might be considered the legacy of René Descartes; however, as we have already seen, epistemological concerns were being addressed as early as Plato.