Is Willpower Just Another Way of Tying Oneself to the Mast?

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Abstract / Description of output

This paper argues against the intuition that willpower and so called ‘tying to the mast’ strategies are fundamentally different types of mental actions to achieve self control. The argument for this surprising claim is that at least on the most plausible account of willpower (Holton’s mental muscle account) an act of willpower consists in an intentional mental action that disables the mental agent and thereby creates a mental tie. The paper then defends this claim against the objection that tying to the mast strategies do not have the same phenomenology as real willpower and that they do not preserve reason responsiveness.
Original languageEnglish
JournalReview of Philosophy and Psychology
Early online date26 Jul 2014
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


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