Skip to main content
    • Aa
    • Aa

Shall I Compare Thee to a Minkowski-Ricardo-Leontief-Metzler Matrix of the Mosak-Hicks Type?: Or, Rhetoric, Mathematics, and the Nature of Neoclassical Economic Theory

  • Philip Mirowski (a1)

Is rhetoric just a new and trendy way to épater les bourgeois? Unfortunately, I think that the newfound interest of some economists in rhetoric, and particularly Donald McCloskey in his new book and subsequent responses to critics (McCloskey, 1985a, 1985b), gives that impression. After economists have worked so hard for the past five decades to learn their sums, differential calculus, real analysis, and topology, it is a fair bet that one could easily hector them about their woeful ignorance of the conjugation of Latin verbs or Aristotle's Six Elements of Tragedy. Moreover, it has certainly become an academic cliché that economists write as gracefully and felicitously as a hundred monkeys chained to broken typewriters. The fact that economists still trot out Keynes's prose in their defense is itself an index of the inarticulate desperation of an inarticulate profession.

Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

B. Barnes , and S. Shapin (editors). 1979. Natural Order. Beverly Hills: Sage.

Randall Bausor . 1986. “Time and Equilibrium.” In The Reconstruction of Economic Theory, edited by P. Mirowski , pp. 93136. Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff.

David Bloor . 1982. “Durkheim and Mauss Revisited.” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 13:267–97.

Phyllis Colvin . 1977. “Ontological and Epistemological Commitments in the Social Sciences.” In The Social Production of Scientific Knowledge, edited by E. Mendelsohn , P. Weingart , and R. Whitely , pp. 103–28. Boston: Reidel.

Mary Douglas . 1973. Natural Symbols. London: Barrie and Jenkins.

C. Garner 1979. “Academic Publication, Market Signalling and Scientific Research Decisions.” Econoniic Inquiry 17:575–84.

Stephen Gaukroger . 1976. “Bachelard and the Problem of Epistemological Analysis.” Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science 7:189244.

Sandra Harding (editor). 1976. Can Theories Be Refuted? Boston: Reidel.

Mary Hesse . 1980. Revolutions and Reconstruction in the Philosophy of Science. Bloomington: Indiana University.

Mary Hesse . 1985. “Texts without Types and Lumps without Laws.” New Literary History 17:3148.

Karin Knorr-Cetina . 1981. The Manufacture of Knowledge. New York: Pergamon.

G. Lakoff , and M. Johnson 1980. “Conceptual Metaphor in Everyday Language.” Journal of Philosophy 77:453–86.

Claude Menard . 1980. “Three Forms of Resistance to Statistics: Say, Cournot, Walras.” History of Political Economy 12:524–41.

Philip Mirowski . 1984b. “The Role of Conservation Principles in 20th Century Economic Theory.” Philosophy of the Social Sciences 14:461–73.

Philip Mirowski . 1986. “Mathematical Formalism and Economic Explanation.” In The Reconstruction of Economic Theory, edited by P. Mirowski . Boston: Kluwer-Nijhoff.

Steven Shapin . 1984. “Talking History: Reflections on Discourse Analysis.” Isis 75:125–28.

Leon Walras . 1960. “Économique et Mécanique.” Metroeconomica 12:313.

Stanley Wong . 1978. The Foundations of Samuelson's Revealed Preference Theory. Boston: Routledge

Recommend this journal

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

Economics & Philosophy
  • ISSN: 0266-2671
  • EISSN: 1474-0028
  • URL: /core/journals/economics-and-philosophy
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 135 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 29th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.