Skip to main content
×
×
Home
  • Get access
    Check if you have access via personal or institutional login
  • Cited by 42
  • Cited by
    This chapter has been cited by the following publications. This list is generated based on data provided by CrossRef.

    El Khatib, Randa Wrisley, David Joseph Elbassuoni, Shady Jaber, Mohamad and El Zini, Julia 2019. Prototyping Across the Disciplines. Digital Studies/Le champ numérique, Vol. 8, Issue. 1,

    DERYA, Hülya 2019. Feminist Economics and Its Critics from a Historical Perspective. Fiscaoeconomia, p. 92.

    Marks, Michael P. 2018. Revisiting Metaphors in International Relations Theory. p. 1.

    Besomi, Daniele 2018. The metaphors of crises. Journal of Cultural Economy, p. 1.

    Bok, Rachel 2018. ‘By our metaphors you shall know us’. Progress in Human Geography, p. 030913251880435.

    Marks, Michael P. 2018. Revisiting Metaphors in International Relations Theory. p. 31.

    Vickery, Andrea J. 2018. “Listening Enables Me to Connect with Others”: Exploring College Students’ (Mediated) Listening Metaphors. International Journal of Listening, Vol. 32, Issue. 2, p. 69.

    Doğru, Mustafa Kemal 2018. İktisat, Biyoloji ve Rasyonellik. Politik Ekonomik Kuram, Vol. 2, Issue. 1, p. 35.

    Kendal, Dave Robin, Libby Wilson, Anna Muir, Cameron Pearce, Lilian M. Willoughby, Sharon and Lunt, Ian D. 2017. Led up the garden path? Weeds, conservation rhetoric, and environmental management. Australasian Journal of Environmental Management, Vol. 24, Issue. 3, p. 228.

    Rios, Luis A Rachinskii, Dmitrii and Cross, Rod 2017. On the rationale for hysteresis in economic decisions. Journal of Physics: Conference Series, Vol. 811, Issue. , p. 012012.

    Kay, Adrian and Baines, Darrin 2017. Evolutionary approaches to the concept of drift in policy studies. Critical Policy Studies, p. 1.

    Baryshev, Alexey A. 2017. Entrepreneurial Action as Metaphorical Process and its Metaphorics. International Journal of Actor-Network Theory and Technological Innovation, Vol. 9, Issue. 1, p. 24.

    Pistorius, Thomas 2017. Heterodox Investment Theory. p. 1.

    Boulanger, Pier-Pascale 2016. Quand les médias traduisent la crise : les métaphores utilisées par la presse généraliste pendant la crise des subprimes. Meta: Journal des traducteurs, Vol. 61, Issue. , p. 144.

    Lieber, André 2015. The Distributed Cognitive Economics of Reform: A Framework. Journal of Interdisciplinary Economics, Vol. 27, Issue. 1, p. 49.

    Langer, Tomáš 2015. Metaphors in Economics: Conceptual Mapping Possibilities in the Lectures of Economics. Procedia Economics and Finance, Vol. 25, Issue. , p. 308.

    Fernandez Rodriguez, Aurea and Galanes Santos, Iolanda 2015. La crise hypothécaire et ses dénominations. Babel, Vol. 61, Issue. 2, p. 265.

    Hennessy, Catherine H. and Means, Robin 2015. Meeting the challenge of interdisciplinarity: lessons and issues from the Grey and Pleasant Land project on rural ageing. Journal of Geography in Higher Education, Vol. 39, Issue. 2, p. 195.

    Luokkanen, Matti Huttunen, Suvi and Hildén, Mikael 2014. Geoengineering, news media and metaphors: Framing the controversial. Public Understanding of Science, Vol. 23, Issue. 8, p. 966.

    Crosthwaite, Paul 2013. ANIMALITY AND IDEOLOGY IN CONTEMPORARY ECONOMIC DISCOURSE. Journal of Cultural Economy, Vol. 6, Issue. 1, p. 94.

    ×
  • Print publication year: 1994
  • Online publication date: January 2010

2 - So what's an economic metaphor?

Summary

Knowing is nothing but working with one's favorite metaphors.

Friedrich Nietzsche

Indeed, as the documents of science pile up, are we not coming to see that whole works of scientific research, even entire schools, are hardly more than the patient repetition, in all its ramifications, of a fertile metaphor?

Kenneth Burke

Until 1983, when Donald McCloskey invited literary criticism to the table of economics, the very notion of metaphor was virtually absent from economic discourse. Arguing in “The Rhetoric of Economics,” McCloskey proposed taking metaphor seriously. Since his article appeared in the Journal of Economic Literature, metaphor has acquired some currency among economists; its mention is no longer a show-stopping non sequitur.

The currency of the term “metaphor” does not, however, imply a general acceptance of its importance. On the contrary, suspicion and indifference still rule the day, if we may speak metaphorically. The average economist would be unable to locate “metaphor” in the economic lexicon. Many of our colleagues will grant the existence of metaphor, perhaps even conceding its ubiquity, but they then rejoin with the debater's bogey – “So what?”

The suspicion rests, we surmise, on the impression that metaphors introduce ambiguity. The imprecision created by ambiguous meaning is presumably fine for poets, but anathema for scientists. When McCloskey equates economics with poetry because it too relies on metaphors, scientifically minded economists are offended. “What matters is that we, as scientists, write down in a precise way what we mean. Precision is one of the standards by which we measure science.

Recommend this book

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this book to your organisation's collection.

Natural Images in Economic Thought
  • Online ISBN: 9780511572128
  • Book DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511572128
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to *
×