Descartes, an intelligent man of many talents, believed that knowledge came from the mind and that through self-reflection could more knowledge be gained and built upon. Through Descartes’s own journey to gain more knowledge, Descartes wrote his Six Meditations. Within these Six meditations, He forms a solid foundation, which to lay his reasoning upon since he believes that with a stable foundation, knowledge can grow and be built upon. Descartes formed the Basis for what modern philosophy currently is.
In Meditation 1, Descartes ushers in the use of Skepticism within his writings. Descartes begins to form the base for his thoughts by using the doubt method. He uses this method to put doubt on all his beliefs while including “matters which are not entirely certain and indubitable than from those which appear to me manifestly to be false”, and rejecting them if even an ounce of doubt is suspected to be within it (Descartes, pg.6). After Descartes finishes discarding the beliefs that he believes are to be filled with doubt, he begins to build up his foundation with true knowledge. Through the exploration of his internal senses and self-doubt, Descartes reveals that there is a possibility that he is perhaps dreaming. This leads to the point that a person might have trouble in distinguishing reality from the dream.
While talking about reality and dreams, Descartes says “How often has it happened to me that in the night I dreamt that I found myself in this particular place, that I was dressed and seated near the fire, whilst in reality I was lying undressed in bed! At this moment it does indeed seem to me that it is with eyes awake that I am looking at this paper; that this head which I move is not asleep, that it is deliberately and of set purpose that I extend my hand and perceive it; what happens in sleep does not appear so clear nor so distinct as does all this” (Descartes, pg.7).
While doubting all of his beliefs, Descartes eventually doubts what he believes about God. He introduces his Beliefs about God while using Skepticism by introducing the idea of God being a powerful deceiver. “I shall then suppose, not that God who is supremely good and the fountain of truth, but some evil genius not less powerful than deceitful, has employed his whole energies in deceiving me” (Descartes, pg.8). While discussing the idea that God is a deceiver, Descartes presents the idea that God is actually a mischievous demon whose intention is to trick and deceive Descartes and his beliefs.