eXistenZial angst

Duncan Pritchard*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


One of the key motifs of David Cronenberg's film eXistenZ (1999) is the idea that one might not be able to tell the difference between appearance and reality. This is conveyed in the film in terms of the protagonists-Ted Pikul (Jude Law) and Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh)-being progressively unable to be sure they aren't inside the game they are playing, rather than in the real world. Although the circumstances in play in the film are of course highly unusual, and very distinct from normal circumstances, there is a general philosophical difficulty at issue here-indeed, it is one of the most fundamental and enduring challenges that philosophers face. This is the problem of radical skepticism, a problem that can be traced back to antiquity and that finds expression, in some form, in the work of such diverse figures as Plato, Descartes, Hume, and Kant.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe philosophy of David Cronenberg
EditorsSimon Riches
Place of PublicationLexington, Kentucky
PublisherThe University Press of Kentucky
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780813136172
ISBN (Print)9780813136042
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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