In his lecture, “Advantages of Fiction for Life and Death”, Eco compares the ontological truth-value of fictional truth and historical truth. He concludes that fiction holds both interior and exterior truths, and is at least as valid as historical truth.
Furthermore, he suggests that fictional truth may be more substantial than historical truth. As an example, he says that we know it to be true that Superman is Clark Kent. This is a fictional truth of which there is no doubt. He compares Superman’s identity to the historical truth that Hitler died in a bunker in Germany, of which there is some possible doubt.
Although he doesn’t discuss other forms of truth I think it is important to include the truth of experience in the comparison. Unlike historical truth, which is a statement about the past, truth of experience would be determined by what we experience in the present moment. I believe that what makes fictional truth more substantial than either of these other truths is that it shares qualities of both.
Eco says that because of the [...]