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In his first meditation Descartes sets out with amazing clarity and persistence to clear himself of every false idea that he has acquired previous to this and determine what he truly knows To rid him of these rotten apples he has developed a method of doubt with a goal to construct a set of beliefs on foundations which are indubitable On these foundations Descartes applies three levels of skepticism which in turn generate three levels at which our thoughts may be deceived by error Descartes states quite explicitly in the synopsis that we can doubt all things which are material as long as we have no foundations for the sciences other than those which we have had up till nowsynopsis12 This skepticism also implies that doubt can free us from prejudices enabling the mind to escape the deception of the senses and possibly discover a truth which is beyond doubt The first and main deception in Descartes opinion has evolved from sense perception What ever I have up till now accepted as most true I have acquired either from the senses or through the sense But from time to time I have found that the senses deceive and it is prudent never to trust completely those who have deceived us even once11813 At the root of our beliefs Descartes argues lie the experiences we gain from our sensesbecause these are sometimes mistaken as in the case of mirages or objects which appear small in the distance and because of this he will now forfeit all of his most reliable information More importantly it may be to follow in the steps of Plato and require knowledge that is certain and absolute Prado 1992 This argument consists of four main premises
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