It is said that in the minds of academia, the purpose of literature, fiction, is to teach us more about ourselves.
I think that's like saying that fine arts painting has the purpose of teaching us about nature or architecture.
Fiction can certainly explain our minds about man. It just seems to me that many in academia thinks it can do so in an explainable way, as if all the lessons can be literal and logical and be disected, and have final, single explanations. I think that fiction and art expands our minds on a higher and more complex level.