Philosophy tends to be arid, more related to mathematics or dispatches from the courtroom than art, but some philosophy exhibits playfulness or poetic sensibility in relation to language or narrative form and some has even been speculative in a literary or imaginative sense. Jean Baudrillard, for one, coined the term “theory fiction” and speculated on scenarios for future real worlds that were more wild and improbable than science fiction. In his case, it was part of a quest to exacerbate the groundlessness of signs and meaning.
But postmodern suspicion is not the only way in which philosophers have used the strategies of fiction to further their projects. Hegel’s great work Phenomenology of Spirit can be read as a vast novel in which the characters, avatars of the spirit, move progressively through the world and through history.
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