Assignment # 8 for Philosophy Course

Short-Answer Questions

1. (1 pt.) What is your experience with coercive power– either as someone exerting this power or receiving this power? I’m particularly interested in hearing about what our author calls “implicit ad baculums” that can occur through subtle non-verbal cues (p.143). Why are these detrimental to critical thinking? What are ways in which you can attend to and counteract these types of coercive power — again, either as someone exerting this power or receiving this power?

2. (1 pt.) Describe how “Gretchen Brandt” behaved as a subject in the Milgram Experiment (pp. 144-5). What lessons can we learn about how to react to unreasonable commands from ‘legitimate authorities’?

3. (1 pt.) Describe someone who you think has some degree of ethotic power over you. Use the critical questions on p. 149 to decide whether or not you should use ethotic arguments with this person.

4. (1 pt.) Ask a question about A) the reading itself or B) how to apply the ideas from the reading to everyday life.

Long-Answer Prompt

5. (2 pts.) Discuss how social media exercises referent power over you. If you don’t use social media, talk about how referent power is exercised over social media in general. Choose ONE particular discussion in Section 5.5 to inform your discussion and elaborate on it using your experience/observations (the influence of ad populum arguments, the effect on your engagement with democracy, the influence of social proof, the positive or negative effects on constructive dialogues, etc). What are things we can do to counteract the negative effects of referent power while using social media?

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