Keith Oatley

Anglo-Canadian psychologist

Keith Oatley (16 March 1939) is an Anglo-Canadian novelist, professor emeritus of cognitive psychology at the University of Toronto, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Oatley is also the author of two novels, The Case of Emily V., in which Freud and Sherlock Holmes work on the same case in 1904, and A Natural History.


  • Bittersweet creatures : So what is art, that it can enhance social abilities and transform the self? First of all, art is something that lasts and can spread to others. So although one can imagine a lover whispering an improvised poem into her lover’s ear, for the most part a poem will travel in time and space, and last beyond the moment of its conception.
  • People often think that a fiction is something untrue, but this is wrong. The word derives from the Latin fingere, to make. As something made, fiction is different from something discovered, as in physics, or from something that happened, as in the news. But this does not mean it is false. Fiction is about possible selves in possible worlds.

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