The End of Suspicion: Hitchcock, Descartes, and Joan Fontaine

he most worrisome skeptical doubt Descartes raises in the first of his Meditations is the hypothesis of an evil deceiver. While it might seem plainly certain and indubitable that he is “sitting by the fire, wearing a winter cloak, holding this paper” in his hands, and so on, it is possible that all these—fire, cloak, paper, even hands—are illusions. “I will suppose, then, not that there is a supremely good God, the source of truth; but that there is an evil spirit, who is supremely powerful and intelligent, and does his utmost to deceive me. I will suppose that sky, air, earth, colors, shapes, sounds and all external objects are mere delusive dreams, by means of which he lays snares for my credulity.”
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