On the Necessity of Fictional Deception
- 10.2991/hss-26.2016.63How to use a DOI?
- Fiction, Necessity, Deception, Evolution, Cognition.
As we go back further into our ancestral past, we find that narrative served an even deeper purpose than pleasure. The ability to construct factually accurate narratives allows human beings to process a staggering amount of information during the course of a single lifetime and to transmit their acquired knowledge to their descendants in the form of stories. Fictional narratives can be just as useful in the evolutionary sense because the “blind watchmaker” of natural selection neither knows nor cares what is true. At the deepest level of human cognition, where our values and perceptions have been conditioned by natural selection for millions of generations, it is this utility of fiction—more even than truth or beauty—that must structure and support our universal attraction to literature.
- © 2016, the Authors. Published by Atlantis Press.
- Open Access
- This is an open access article distributed under the CC BY-NC license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/).
Cite this article
TY - CONF AU - Yanhui Wang PY - 2016/01 DA - 2016/01 TI - On the Necessity of Fictional Deception BT - Proceedings of the 2016 International Conference on Humanities and Social Science PB - Atlantis Press SP - 382 EP - 386 SN - 2352-5398 UR - https://doi.org/10.2991/hss-26.2016.63 DO - 10.2991/hss-26.2016.63 ID - Wang2016/01 ER -