Does Scientific Analysis Diminish the Value of Art?
Michael Gazzaniga: Why does the human always seem to like fiction? Could it be that it prepares us for unexpected things that happen in our life?
Some people who love the metaphors that come out of literature and the arts want to leave those metaphors whole and untouched by analysis. For instance, why do we like those metaphors? Why do certain metaphors seem to help our thinking?
There is a sense that if someone gives a biologic explanation to why we like these things then we have somehow diminished the value. I don't think that’s true. What is true is that you have an even deeper understanding as to why we are drawn to those metaphors to begin with.
Why does the human always seem to like fiction? Could it be that it prepares us for unexpected things that happen in our life? In other words, we’ve already thought about things in our fantasy world or read about them in a fictitious setting and saw how those characters acted and so then when we’re confronted with it we’re ready. We sort of live through the movie as it were.
To understand that seems to me to make it all a richer experience.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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