Fragments of an Autobiography
At first, metaphysical speculations amused me, then scientific notions. finally, sociological (…) attracted me. But in none of these stages of my quest for truth did I find assurance or relief. I read little about any of my concerns. But in the little I did read, I was worn out by seeing so many contradictory theories, all based on well-developed ideas, all of them equally probable and in accord with a certain school of facts that always had the air of being all the facts. If I raised my tired eyes from the books or if my perturbed attention wandered from my thoughts toward the exterior world, I saw only one thing, which contradicted any utility there might have been in reading and thinking, tearing off, one by one, the petals of the idea and the effort: the infinite complexity of things, the immense quantity (…), the prolix intangibility of the very few facts one could imagine as necessary for the foundation of a science.
— Bernardo Soares (Fernando Pessoa), The Book of Disquiet