The dangers of da Vinci, or the power of popular fiction

Philosophy in the Contemporary World 14 (1):134-143 (2007)
Abstract
Philosophers of literature direct their studies to the moral, cognitive, and emotional aspects of our involvement with fiction. In spite of this, they rarely engage works of popular fiction. In this paper I use The Da Vinci Code as a case study of the impact of popular fiction on readers in terms of these three areas. Although this book will never be considered good literature, its impact is far reaching. l address concerns dealing with the fiction/non-fiction distinction as weIl as issues with history, accuracy, and falsehoods. I flesh out the issues The Da Vinci Code brings up and argue that it, along with other works of popular fiction (Oprah’s book club for example), might be taken more seriously by philosophers of literature
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