It is a well known fact, at least among conjurers, That the more intelligent the audience the more readily will they be deceived by conjuring principles of which they have no knowledge: cause and effect are so rapidly associated that the unexpected denouement catches them off-guard. (Edwin A. Dawes)
Cartesian doubt is a form of methodological skepticism associated with the writings and methodology of René Descartes. Cartesian doubt is also known as Cartesian skepticism, methodic doubt, methodological skepticism, or hyperbolic doubt.
Cartesian doubt is a systematic process of being skeptical about (or doubting) the truth of one’s beliefs, which has become a characteristic method in philosophy. This method of doubt was largely popularized in Western philosophy by René Descartes (1596-1650), who sought to doubt the truth of all his beliefs in order to determine which beliefs he could be certain were true.
“Several years have now elapsed since I first became aware that I had accepted, even from my youth, many false opinions for true, and that consequently what I afterward based on such principles was highly doubtful; and from that time I was convinced of the necessity of undertaking once in my life to rid myself of all the opinions I had adopted, and of commencing anew the work of building from the foundation…”
— René Descartes , Meditation I, 1641