This article from the NYT Blog was sent to me by three different people. So I guess I had to share. It’s interesting science. But what really struck me is that it provides empirical evidence in support of the argument that Martha Nussbaum made philosophically quite a few years ago (1996) in her fantastic book Poetic Justice. If you are interested in why the reading of serious literature is essential to democratic society (not in the partisan sense, but in the ‘functioning democracy’ sense), you should read it.
The fact that more people in our business haven’t read Nussbaum’s book is tragic, for it contains what I think is THE essential justification for the teaching of serious literature- a justification that is about the foundation of our way of life, not about improved test scores, or cultural literacy, or anything like that. That science seems to be confirming her argument is, well, awesome.