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Meditations is a discussion of metaphysics or what is really real In these writings he ultimately hopes to achieve absolute certainty about the nature of everything including God the physical world and himself It is only with a clear and distinct knowledge of such things that he can then begin understand his true reality In order to acquire absolutely certainty Descartes must first lay a complete foundation of integrity on which to build up his knowledge The technique he uses to lay this base is doubt If any belief can be doubted it is not certain therefore making unusable as a foundation Descartes starts by looking at our usual sources for truth Authority which is churches parents and schools he says are not reliable sources for truth because time shows we all die and that we are eventually proved wrong much in the same way the accepted truths of science have changed dramatically over the course of history Also he considers the generally excepted view that our senses dependably report the absolute nature of reality Like authority though Descartes discards the senses as a source of truth because of the Dream Argument or the belief that based on the senses there is no definite way of proving that you are dreaming or that you are awake Therefore it is possible that everything we believe is false making the senses an unreliable source Upon establishing this Descartes doubts the existence of a physical or external world Despite that he has an idea of things in the world he has no definitive way of knowing if they exist beyond his own mind Another foundation that he tries to confirm is mathematics But he soon realizes maths truth isnt completely reliable because of the Demon Hypothesis which acknowledges the possibility of an all powerful malicious being that is deceiving him about everything including mathematics As a result Descartes ponders the possibility that he has no way of being
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