Fiction is good for you

Following my critique of Lawrence Krauss’ scientistic views on the mythical imagination, Mainz University literature scholar Anja Müller-Wood discusses the value of storytelling in terms of evolutionary psychology.

And if that’s not enough, in this week’s New Scientist is a short article by Toronto University cognitive psychologist Keith Oatley on the benefits to the individual of reading fiction.

“Fiction is a simulation that runs on the software of our minds… If I am correct, then just as pilots improve when they spend time in a flight simulator, so people’s social skills should improve when they spend time reading fiction.”

For the majority who have no religion, storytelling is one of the primary conveyers of moral truths. Fiction should be seen as indispensible to our personal development, and not as antithetical to reason and an impediment to progress.