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Descartes overall objective in the Meditations is to question knowledge To explore such metaphysical issues as the existence of God and the separation of mind and body it was important for him to distinguish what we can know as truth He believed that reason as opposed to experience was the source for discovering what is of absolute certainty In my explication I will examine meditation two in order to discover why knowledge was so important to Descartes Meditation One The first meditation acts as a foundation for all those that follow Here Descartes discerns between mere opinion and strict absolute certainty To make this consideration he establishes that he must first attack those principles which supported everything I once believedquote paraphrase He first examines those beliefs that require our senses He questions whether our senses are true indicators of what they represent By inspecting our sometimes firm belief in the reality of dreams he comes to the conclusion that our senses are prone to error and thereby cannot reliably distinguish between certainty and falsity To examine those ideas that have objective reality Descartes makes the improbable hypothesis of an evil genius as clever and deceitful as he is powerful who has directed his entire effort to misleading me By proposing this solution he is able to suspend his judgment and maintain that all his former beliefs are false By using doubt as his tool Descartes is now ready to build his following proofs with certainty Meditation Two Comparing his task to that of Archimedes Descartes embarks on his journey of truth Attempting to affirm the idea that God must exist as a fabricator for his ideas he stumbles on his first validity the notion that he Descartes exists He ascertains that if he can both persuade himself of something and likewise be deceived of something then surely he must exist This self validating statement is known as the Cogito Argument
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