Fiction and Empathy

I’m continuing to (slowly) read Keith Oatley’s “Such Stuff as Dreams: The Psychology of Fiction” and I’m struck by his research into fiction and empathy. It’s so tricky to interpret research like this when, on the one hand, so much of it resonates with my gut feeling about what fiction is for; yet on the other hand, so much of it draws on the kind of junk science about empathy that dehumanizes autistic people, and the rest leaves nagging questions with me about where autistic people fit into the framework being drawn.

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