Can Literature Make You More Empathetic?

May 4, 2014

Some of the most popular movies and TV shows feature likeable killers, and the sympathetic monster is a common character in great fiction. (Think Frankenstein’s monster.) There’s a theory that reading fiction helps us learn to understand other people — so does reading about fictional monsters help us feel empathy for real-life criminals? Joshua Landy is a professor of French and Comparative Literature at Stanford and he says fiction can help us be kinder and more empathetic. But it doesn’t necessarily make us better people.


Best segment today.