Of God and His Creatures

I may have habitually in my mind the universal judgement, 'Nuisances are to be abated.' From that, no action can arise. Annoyed by a noise in the street, I formulate a further judgement, more definite, but still universal: 'The nuisance of bawling newsboys is to be abated.' No action is yet possible. But when I say to myself: 'The nuisance of this bawling newsboy is to be abated, trouble and expense notwithstanding'; then and then only, upon this particular practical judgement, action becomes possible and will ensue. The argument shows that universal pronouncements of the understanding do not necessitate any particular action. It seems to me to show no more than that.

Of God and His Creatures: 2.48