2017 Abstracts Stage 2

Are humans destined to conform to evil?

Philip Zimbardo and the Stanford Prison Experiment

Participants were assigned either the role of guard or prisoner in a prion simulation designed to investigate the behavioural and psychological effects of prison life. From that moment they were treated according to their role and the study commenced. Rebellion, excessive punishment and a mass escape plot.

The findings showed that the guards and prisoners conformed wholly to their assigned role to the point where role and reality were blurred. The participants had lost all sense of reality . Why did this happen? Does it say something about an inherent human nature to conform?

Hannah Arendt and the Banality of Evil: Arendt claims that evil can occur when someone simply follows orders to the point that they no longer have their own thought process. They become a cog in a well oiled machine. She basis this theory on the trial of the Nazi, Adolf Eichmann, who she claims was not an inherently evil man but someone who “simply followed orders”. What does this mean for moral culpability? Does this change our understanding of human nature?

2008 Abstracts Stage 3

How is the dialectic relationship between imagination and reality revealed in the nature of toys?

I wish to show through this project how it is in imagination, that we discover the truth about reality. This process of discovery happens in the earliest stages of childhood through a child’s awareness of the physical objects around them and what these mean. This awareness of reality later develops to a state of ‘play’. It is in the free state of play that a child first explores their ability for creation. The link between imagination and reality shifts from childhood to adulthood. What I wish to explore is the nature of this link and ask whether it ceases in childhood or whether it continues by later revealing itself in other forms of creative arts. I will explore whether creation in any art form can reveal truth about our own reality and further still even shape it? Can creative play in childhood reveal truth about our being in the world?