"Therefore, now that I have freed my mind from all cares, and I have secured for myself some leisurely and carefree time, I withdraw in solitude. I will in short, apply myself earnestly and openly to the general destruction of my former opinions." (Rene Descartes, Meditation I).
"Whatever I had admitted until now as most true I took in either from the senses or through the senses; however, I noticed that they sometimes deceived me. And it is a mark of prudence never to trust wholly in those things which have once deceived us." (Rene Descartes, Meditation I).
Descartes" Mediations combined equal the embodiment of an effort to establish a foundation for knowledge. Each mediation serving almost as a mental/intellectual rung to achieve the heights of just how we as humans arrive at knowledge. A feat tackled by many a philosopher, Descartes" method is one that begins with the practice of doubt, systematic doubt. .
Exemplified in the excerpts from the first meditation, Descartes" cast himself and the reader into a role of the perplexed being. Perplexed, for all that was or is known may in fact be false if doubt is added into the equation. This addition, thus negating the experiences brought about by the senses. Descartes points out the fallibility of the senses, for they often deceive. The experience of the fallible senses is one that is a commonality, for many have thought an object was closer than it was, or could swear that they heard their name called in the distance. It is agreeable then, that Descartes is right, the senses do deceive, so how can we trust that which does deceive? Descartes says that we cannot, and we should apply doubt, in order to avoid the fallible. In this First Mediation, Descartes" acknowledges the existence of God or a Supreme Being, as it is already present in his mind. With an ultimate being, God, the creator, as responsible for all things, Descartes challenges the motives of God.