Ethics & Philosophy 2101 videos

    Do schools value true thinkers?

In this video, Sir Ken Robinson shares his ideas about the price of inculcating students into an education system that values standardization and conformity, often at the cost of a student’s natural capacity for lateral/divergent thinking.

Remember that the study of philosophy involves our knowledge and nature of what we believe/perceive as ‘Truth’. Has school helped or hindered your pursuit of true knowledge?

Do you agree with Robinson’s assertions? How? Why? Is your Truth about the institution of education typical?

    Plato’s Allegory of the Cave:             Is Ignorance Bliss?

What is Truth? Can flawed or incomplete truth doom us to ignorance? What are the implications of ignorance?

How are we similar to the prisoners? Consider the difficulties faced by the prisoner who attempts to ‘enlighten’ his friends.

What role does Fear play in the lives of the prisoners? Why do they fear knowledge?

The Artist is Present

Ethics is invariably tangled with or recognition of others; our sense of connection and empathy with them. But how often do we actually stop to make a connection with strangers, to honour them as individuals like ourselves and to connect with them in a  meaningful and honest way? In her piece at MoMA, Marina Abramovic connected (and as we see here, reconnected) with people in an effort to honour our shared and differing journeys. Powerful stuff.

    The Milgram Experiment

More than 5 decades later, Milgram’s controversial experiment shows us a grim side of the human psyche; that although we like to see ourselves as benevolent and altruistic, the cold truth seems to be that humans are capable of horrifying evil, and all it takes to unleash such cruelty is an imposing authority figure. This is frightening, but important for us to see in others if we are to see our own vulnerability.


  Stanford Prison Experiment

Following the findings of Stanley Milgram, Philip Zimbardo embarked on another social science experiment that had fascinating (but troubling) findings for everyone involved. These experiments reveal interesting aspects of the human capacities.

Why is Hate so easy?

What does it mean to hate? How does Hate manifest itself? Does it need to exist in order for us to recognize Love? Why are hateful or harmful actions so much more prevalent when there’s a veil of anonymity? What are the implications for Hate in a world where social media allows for such anonymous communication? In this video, while it is clear that Hate exists, so too does love and compassion. While this video may incense you, it also has a tone of hopefulness.  “When I look into your eyes...” With Marina Abramovic, we’ve seen the power of eye contact; it is solidified here.