what he does or makes is wholly idle, being useless to him in the next minute
But somebody says at this point, as if still unconvinced, that action, or at least the action of a living self, must be free, having not only a power of initiation but also a power of material creation. Well, so it must, if by life you mean something external to the agent, something introduced from without. To any one, any agent living a life not his own, initiation and creation are necessary. Such an agent, however, is not substantially free. The freedom given to him in his power of material creation is wholly taken away in his dependence upon an external life or an external stimulus. His power of creation is only a conceit. Give him creative power then, if you must, but recognize that so far as he is concerned what he does or makes is wholly idle, being useless to him in the next minute. Such creation is what in popular language has sometimes been known as “puttering;” and I venture to say that even the subjects of study in many laboratories of the present day are so far diverted from their natural life by formalistic scientists as to be made mere “putterers.” Puttering is not confined to the every-day life of society, for let us remember that subjects in laboratories are very much like actors on a stage, exhibiting to the public its own foibles.
Fortunately the freedom of formal initiation and material creation is not the only freedom.
— Alfred H(enry). Lloyd, ex Part III. The World of Acts
Chapter 16. “Reaction or Interaction?” in his Dynamic Idealism : An Elementary Course in the Metaphysics of Psychology, first entered upon in lectures before students in philosophy at the University of Michigan (1898) : 200
200 (LC copy, at hathitrust)
Alfred Henry Lloyd (1864-1927)
philosopher (at the University of Michigan), works include The Will to Doubt (1907), in which he argues that “doubt is essential to real belief.”