Is fiction good for us? We spend huge chunks of our lives immersed in novels, films, TV shows, and other forms of fiction. Some see this as a positive thing, arguing that made-up stories cultivate our mental and moral development. But others have argued that fiction is mentally and ethically corrosive. It’s an ancient question: Does fiction build the morality of individuals and societies, or does it break it down?

Why fiction is good for you – If you read Gottschall’s whole article, you’ll see a constant logical and terminological slippage. He announces, “Fiction makes us better people,” but what his evidence shows, and what he occasionally admits, is that much fiction can help many readers to be better in some ways. Which is rather different. I’ll be reviewing Gottschall’s book at some point.