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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Milgram’s experiments have exposed the bitter truth that, against their moral standards, the great majority of subjects actually obeyed malevolent authorities and are ready to cause great suffering, even death, to innocent victims. The reason for such unexpected and shocking behavior can be clearly 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. Nevertheless, 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 because of which obedience or defiance to malevolent authority is possible.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSynthese Library
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media B.V.
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2020

Publication series

NameSynthese Library
ISSN (Print)0166-6991
ISSN (Electronic)2542-8292

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020, Springer Nature Switzerland AG.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History and Philosophy of Science
  • History
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Logic


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