Christopher Columbus and the Manufacture of Identity
Charles Chu
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cultural stories and myths are important for (1) feeling life is meaningful, (2) cooperating with your community, and (3) orienting yourself morally in the world

Your explanation for why stories and myths are important is good, but like most, you’re missing a preliminary step: why don’t other animals need stories and myths? May seem like a silly question, but it’s not. This is a case of anthropocentrism where we assume stories are normal and necessary because they are ubiquitous, but that doesn’t explain why humans need them. Other animals have innate cooperation mechanisms and morality. (See Frans de Waal’s books for examples of biological morality.) There’s more to the story…

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