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Instructional Dialogue

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This is a work of thinly disguised (or sometimes entirely undisguised) nonfiction, written as a dialogue. Usually these dialogues feature a Mr. Exposition, who either explains the topic to The Watson or debates it with a Straw Loser. In either case, Mr. Exposition's partner is supposed to be bringing up the objections or points of confusion that the reader might have.


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  • Most of Sophie's World is taken up by a dialogue that summarizes the entirety of Western philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to Sartre.
  • Philosophy in the Bedroom, by Maquis de Sade, is both a instructional dialogue on his brand of libertarianism and hard core porn.
  • Oscar Wilde's essay "The Portrait of Mr. W. H." is constructed as a lengthy conversation between an older scholar and his younger disciple, to whom he is explaining his theory on the real object of William Shakespeare's romantic sonnets.
  • Xanthippic Dialogues is a bunch of instructional dialogues on, mostly, philosophy of dialogue (as in ethics, not rhetoric). It also pretends to be a lost text from V century b.c. and is quite funny.

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