Philosophy and the Modern World – Introduction

Modern Society: the Context of Philosophical Counselling

One of the most important factors we need to keep uppermost in our minds when we engage in philosophical counselling – as counsellor or as client – is the larger social context which we inhabit but which to a great extent has also shaped us. We often hear about the nature/nurture debate in child development or discussions about cultural differences and multiculturalism. To what extent are we shaped by nature; our biological ...

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The Milgram Experiment: Obedience to Authority

The Milgram experiment on obedience to authority figures was a series of social psychology experiments conducted by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram. They measured the willingness of study participants to obey an authority figure who instructed them to perform acts conflicting with their personal conscience. Milgram first described his research in 1963 in an article published in the Journal of Abnormal and Social Psychology and later discussed his findings in greater depth in his 1974 book, Obedience to Authority: An ...

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The Five Monkeys

In Stephenson 1966 experiment “Cultural Acquisition of a Specific Learned Response Among Rhesus Monkeys”, we get a clear picture of how an idea can propagate itself even though those who are propagating the idea do not provide any justification for doing so.

Nietzsche speaks to this phenomenon in his essays in On The Genealogy of Morals. We are raised into a culture with a predetermined value system and few among us ever question why we conform to it. ...

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Mouse Utopia Experiment

In the 1950’s John Calhoun decided to set up the perfect environment for a colony of mice. Everything that the little rodents could possibly ever wish for was provided for. However, as the experiment progresses, things take a turn for the worst. The conclusion of this experiment is both somber as well as terrifying. Is there anything to learn from this experiment for us as human beings?

We would like to imagine that if us as a species, the human species, ...

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