Volume 33, Issue 2, Fall 2019
Can We Learn about Real Social Worlds from Fictional Ones?
It is very common for social scientists to be asked whether their findings about human nature could also be learned from reading great works of literature. Literature teachers frequently assign readings partly to teach people important truths about the world. But it is unclear how looking at a work of fiction can tell us about the real world at all. In this paper I carefully examine questions about the conditions under which the fictional world can teach us about the real world.