While this methodology might strike some as counterintuitive it appears to work for Descartes.
He was arguably the first major philosopher in the modern era to make a serious effort to defeat skepticism. Some commentators argue that given his method of doubt in the Meditations, even simple inferences are put in question. E Moore where used evidence and knowledge to flip over the dream argument.
In order to do this he must first prove he has a mind, and then prove that bodily things exist. The main concept of the Scientific Revolution was to "question everything".
Modern science has proven to be most effective in explaining our environment. While growing up and through his studies, Descartes began to make strides in the fields of philosophy, mathematics and science. What Descartes does is challenge our preconceived notions of dreaming and puts us in the frame of mind to answer for ourselves if we are dreaming right now or are we actually experiencing reality.
As Damasio notes, there are certainly many specific "errors" in Descartes' writings--that heat causes the circulation of the blood, for example, or that movement is translated instantaneously through the plenum from one object to another--but all these notions have been "corrected" by subsequent theory in ways that we can imagine Descartes himself might easily accept Descartes View on the Senses - Descartes first meditation included a few arguments that Descartes studied and analyze.
Philosophers began applying rational scientific thought to problems that they considered. I will look at the views of Rene Descartes and George Berkeley.