Identifying The Self By Lauren Slater Essay

839 Words Sep 22nd, 2015 4 Pages
Identifying the Self
Lauren Slater firsts introduces us to Stanley Milgram and his experiments in the chapter Obscura. In this chapter we revolve around the topic of self-identity compared to who we really are while under the influence of the power of authority. Slater, although unclear of the true meaning of these experiments, finds they have great power in shedding light on the distinction between who we think we are versus who we truly are (Slater, 39). This then makes myself wonder, am I who I believe myself to be? Or could I too be one of Milgram’s test subjects that believes I am not capable of things I really am.
As we go deeper into the experiments conducted by Milgram we see a common trend in the individual test subjects. Most of them describe themselves as good people, providing husbands and fathers. Yet approximately 65 percent of could be expected to harm a fellow human being while under the influence of an authority figure, according to various experiments conducted by Milgram (Slater, 39). What exactly does this imply? This shows the power of obedience when confronted with a recognized authority and how far we would be willing to obey, even if it involved harming someone. Why is the self-image of approximately 65 percent of the population so apparently different than who we really are or can be? I would say, this is a very apparent delusion that humans tend to practice. The fact of the matter is we often think ourselves to be something other than what we…

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