Journal of Social Sciences

Stanley Milgram’s Experiments and the Saving of the Possibility of Disobedience

Amihud Gilead

DOI : 10.3844/jssp.2016.88.98

Journal of Social Sciences

Volume 12, Issue 2

Pages 88-98

Abstract

Milgram’s experiments have exposed the bitter truth that, against their moral standards, the great majority of subjects actually obey malevolent authorities and are ready to cause great suffering, even death, to innocent victims. The reason for such unexpected and shocking behavior can be perfectly explained in the light of panenmentalist philosophy, according to which individual pure possibilities and their relations are as real as actualities and, normally, persons are free to choose between alternative pure possibilities in whatsoever circumstances. Whenever persons ignore the singular individuality of other people, such persons can cause most evil, entirely immoral deeds, to the others simply because impersonal authorities order them to do so. Hence, panenmentalism reveals the philosophical conditions upon which obedience or defiance to malevolent authority is possible.

Copyright

© 2016 Amihud Gilead. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.