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In Meditations on First Philosophy, Descartes discards all of his preconceived beliefs, and starts to build a new foundation of only those truths he can discern through pure reason.
I start with the notion that nothing I perceive with my senses, or believe with my mind, is real. Mathematical truths, such as quantities or the idea of a triangle, exist apart from my ability to imagine them.
If you find yourself in a moment of existential angst, I highly recommend a read through Meditations on First Philosophy. This bilingual edition of Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy is aimed both specifically at serious students and professors of philosophy, and generally at anyone motivated by a strong philosophical interest.
The foundations of modern skepticism and objective thinking are thought to be rooted in the philosophy of Rene Descartes, the French mathematician, philosopher and writer. His theories also led to the emancipation of humanity from the doctrine that the Church is the sole authority over Man and led to a more autonomous idea of the human condition. It is important to remember that Rene Descartes was writing at a time of great scientific discoveries which were in conflict with the Church. Meditations on First Philosophy follows the tradition of St Ignatius of Loyola's Spiritual Exercises.
People were looking for new solutions to age-old problems, and they had no qualms about throwing old beliefs into doubt.

It’s a big job, and Descartes does it with the gentle manner of a aged, retired philosopher. Therefore, any errors I experience must be due to a lack of judgment on my part, where the limits of my will exceed the limits of my understanding. I cannot picture a 1,000-sided object in my mind alone, but the idea of it exists despite my limitations. Even as a Christian, I struggled with his second meditation, the one that says God must exist because our ideas about perfection demand it. This great sixteenth century thinker also gave us theories on mind-body dualism and the concept of ethics as the highest form of science. He also wrote extensively on subjects as diverse as music, the search for truth, geometry, discourse as a method of scientific investigation, philosophy, biology and psychology. The original Latin title also had the subtitle: In Which the Existence of God and the Immortality of the Soul are Demonstrated. Rene Descartes thought that if you are going to start doubting, you might as well do something useful with it.
Even if a malevolent being is deceiving me by creating an artificial reality for me, I still exist as one who can be deceived.
Physical objects may or may not exist, but because God is not a deceiver, and because he created my senses to give the experience of position and motion in myself and in objects, such things must exist.

His explanation, however, is more rigorous and detailed than my summary, proof that the cause is at least as great as the effect.
Descartes' Meditations follows a new yet cautious approach which would not be in direct confrontation with the powerful Catholic Church. He was a teacher and counselor to several heads of state in Europe and guided them in their political and ethical actions. In Meditations, Descartes seeks to go beyond Aristotle's philosophy which dominated Western thinking till then. His most famous maxim, “I think, therefore I am” became the guiding principle of modern Western thought. In each one, Descartes abandons all belief in things that are not absolutely certain and then tries to replace these beliefs with those that are more certain. Here, the Greek philosopher posited that all knowledge comes via the senses, hence the outside world is but a mirror image of our inner thoughts. In the First Meditation, Descartes provides bizarre examples of our thoughts and questions whether we can assume that reality in any way resembles these.

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