Fictio legis, however, is a tech­nique, an art. It’s related to the ways in which dis­ci­plines (the Law, in this case) build them­selves by artic­u­lating arti­ficial models and con­structs. Fiction is per­vasive in dis­ci­pline cre­ativity. As an example (that could very well be a chapter in our micro­lit­erary research, but isn’t), the medieval dis­ci­pline of Dialectic or Logic would not exist without fiction. To con­tinue this example, I had fun trans­lating from Latin this text from Jean Buridan’s Summula de Dialectica, or Small Handbook of Dialectics:

You think you are an ass.

Let’s say that there is someone who thinks his father is an ass, and then he thinks he himself is the son of an ass and therefore an ass. Same goes if you think your father is an ass.

Let’s put the case that your father is clad in an ass’s skin, and that you see him from afar, while he is walking on four legs; it’s like that that you think this is an ass, and therefore you can argue using an expos­itive syl­logism: you think that this is an ass, and this is your father, therefore you think that your father is an ass.

Let’s argue the con­trary: because you do not only believe, you know for a fact that the con­trary is true, which means that you are not an ass.

Here, there are two dif­ferent layers of fiction, a nar­rative, and a series of arti­ficial sup­po­si­tions and keys to build the logical case. The first one may have many inter­pre­ta­tions, including, of course, its mnemonic value. The second one, however, is strictly directed to the demon­stration of a logical paradox based on the way in which we believe logical statements.

But it is also a game. Buridan was a good, witty, playful scholar, who was by no means alone in his endeavor. It was part of the extreme cre­ativity in the epis­te­mo­logical value of fiction.

So, fic­tion­alize away. This is your game: go ahead and play with scholarly state­ments using, as your epis­te­mo­logical tech­nique, fiction.