A constant theme in Descartes is a distrust of the evidence that we take to be produced by the bodily senses (sight, touch, taste, smell, hearing). Skeptics had always pointed to the conflicts between the sensible appearances of things. For example, a tower seems round from a distance and square close-up. The fact of perceptual variation provides some reason to doubt any opinion about the specific characteristics of material things formed on the basis of the way they appear in sense-perception.

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