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Intelligent Disobedience by Philip Zimbardo, Ira Chaleff

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CHAPTER TWO

Obedience and Disobedience: When Is Which Right?

“If a man can only obey and not disobey, he is a slave; if he can only disobey and not obey, he is a rebel; he acts out of anger, disappointment, resentment, yet not in the name of a conviction or a principle.”

ERICH FROMM

TO UNDERSTAND APPROPRIATE OBEDIENCE and disobedience, let’s reconsider the scenario in the previous chapter.

We saw the nurse resist what she thought to be a destructive order. Her skillful resistance caused the physician to reflect on his own reasoning and to take a different, presumably safer course. The patient recovered and the story had a happy ending. We know, however, that it could have played out differently.

Was it the success of the patient outcome that ...

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