Fyodor Dostoyevsky quote about reason from Notes from Underground - I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness—a real thorough-going illness.
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I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness—a real thorough-going illness.
 Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground (1864). copy citation

Context

“I want now to tell you, gentlemen, whether you care to hear it or not, why I could not even become an insect. I tell you solemnly, that I have many times tried to become an insect. But I was not equal even to that. I swear, gentlemen, that to be too conscious is an illness—a real thorough-going illness. For man's everyday needs, it would have been quite enough to have the ordinary human consciousness, that is, half or a quarter of the amount which falls to the lot of a cultivated man of our unhappy nineteenth century, especially one who has the fatal ill-luck to inhabit Petersburg, the most theoretical and intentional town on the whole terrestrial globe.” source

Meaning and analysis

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