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Why does fiction make us feel so emotional sometimes? Rationally, my mind knows

Why does fiction make us feel so emotional sometimes? Rationally, my mind knows that the stories I read aren't true and are all completely made-up, but even knowing this, I can't help but find myself tearing up at certain well-written stories. Is there any reason to feel this way at all or is it all just a waste of emotion?

Can literature "tell the truth" better than other Arts or Areas of Knowledge?

Can literature "tell the truth" better than other Arts or Areas of Knowledge?

My answer to this is a firm "Yes". Novels, for example, "tell the

truth" better than any other written material, with the exception

things like diaries and letters, unless you think of the relevant

passages of diaries and letters as though they were mini-novels. But

diaries and letters are no better at telling the truth in the

appropriate sense than the skills of their authors. What sense is the

sense in which novels (or more generally imaginative writing) can "tell

the truth" better than any other "Areas of Knowledge", as you call

them? (I imagine that you might have the sciences in mind.) The sense

is one in which telling the truth has to do with getting the details of

a description absolutely right, and getting the overal balance and

colour and mood of what one is describing absolutely right. Here

psychology for example (which might be thought to give "tell the truth"

better than the novel) is no better than the sensibility (the

eighteenth and nineteenth century word) of the individual working

psychologist. And psychology as a whole can be worse, because its

collective or institutional scientific structure blots out the most

personal and individual aspects of its subjects' lives. 'What an

intelligent man knows is hard to know', as Goethe observed. But I agree

with Kalynne Pudner that there is a rich and rewarding philosophical

literature that exists exactly on this topic. My philosophical guides in

the area, who share the view I have sketched above, are Iris

Murdoch and Vladimir Nabokov.

My answer to this is a firm "Yes". Novels, for example, "tell the truth" better than any other written material, with the exception things like diaries and letters, unless you think of the relevant passages of diaries and letters as though they were mini-novels. But diaries and letters are no better at telling the truth in the appropriate sense than the skills of their authors. What sense is the sense in which novels (or more generally imaginative writing) can "tell the truth" better than any other "Areas of Knowledge", as you call them? (I imagine that you might have the sciences in mind.) The sense is one in which telling the truth has to do with getting the details of a description absolutely right, and getting the overal balance and colour and mood of what one is describing absolutely right. Here psychology for example (which might be thought to give "tell the truth" better than the novel) is no better than the sensibility (the eighteenth and nineteenth...