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Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics

Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics

$62.99 (C)

  • Date Published: May 1994
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521436038

$ 62.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Donald McCloskey's previous books, The Rhetoric of Economics and If You're So Smart, aimed to bring economics back into the wider conversation of the day. In Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics he carries the conversation further, into the seminars of philosophers. His message is that economics is a science, but a human science. It is properly mathematical, but literary too. His book is highly unusual: a work of technical economics that can be read by anyone, a witty guide to the ins and outs of economic philosophy expressed in plain English.

    • A major piece of economic philosophy by one of the most famous and controversial writers in the field
    • Beautifully written, provocative and witty; will be accessible and attractive to non-economists who want to know how economists think
    • We have a very strong list in economic methodology, and are well-known for our books in the field - see Blaug, Hausman
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "...witty, learned, inventive, disputatious, stylish, and aimed at the heart of economics as a discipline." Business History Review

    "McCloskey's book is well written and covers a remarkable breadth of methodology in economic science, which will not fail to stir the economist's interests and protest, though most economists are not familiar with them. It is also provocative, evocative, and most of all entertaining." The Southern Economic Journal

    "If you have a serious interest in the human sciences and you enjoy dazzling intellectual aerobics, then McCloskey's writing is for you. He brings to his exposition an extraordinary grasp of literature, literary criticism, poetry, history, philosophy, and the natural and social sciences, and delivers his message with stunning ingenuity and flourish. Reading McCloskey s fun. Whatever you learn is a bonus." Robert Higgs, Liberty

    "Buy this book....a modest price these days for 400 pages of superb text and 38 pages of rich bibliography. You should definitely read it, because McCloskey writes engagingly about so many matters on which all economists ought to reflect. And you shouldn't read the library copy or a copy borrowed from a friend, because you'll want to underline phrases, bracket paragraphs, and mark items in the bibliography for future consultation." Paul Heyne, Bulletin of the Association of Christian Economists

    "There is no doubt that this latest book has benefitted from the decade that has passed, a decade that witnessed numerous developments in science studies, rhetoric, and philosophy. McCloskey is an intent listener and he integrates the fruits of his omnivorous appetite with the added flavor of his own wittiness and playfulness....His style is provocative and entertaining....In my view, McCloskey's arguments are extremely persuasive." Yuval Yonay, Journal of Economic Literature

    "The book reviewed here is actually the third installment of a trilogy, which began with The Rhetoric of Economics and includes If You're So Smart....To sum up: the views presented in the book are in several aspects richer than McCloskey's earlier views." Pragmatic & Cognition

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    Product details

    • Date Published: May 1994
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521436038
    • length: 464 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 153 x 27 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 4 tables
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Exordium:
    1. A positivist youth
    2. Kicking the dead horse
    Part II. Narration:
    3. Economics in the human conversation
    4. The rhetoric of economics
    Part III. Division:
    5. The Science word in economics
    6. Three ways of reading economics to criticize itself
    7. Popper and Lakatos: thin ways of reading economics
    8. Thick readings: ethics, economics, sociology and rhetoric
    Part IV. Proof:
    9. The rise of a scientistic style
    10. The rhetoric of mathematical formalism: existence theorems
    11. General equilibrium and the rhetorical history of formalism
    12. Blackboard Marxism
    13. Formalists as poets and politicians
    Part V. Refutation:
    14. The very idea of epistemology
    15. The tu quoque argument and the claims of rationalism
    16. Armchair philosophy of economics: Rosenberg and Hausman
    17. Philosophy of science without epistemology: the Popperians
    18. The Rosenberg: reactionary modernism
    19. Methodologists of economics, big-M and small
    20. Getting 'rhetoric': Mark Blaug and the Eleatic Stranger
    21. Coats/McPherson/Friedman: anti-meta-post-modernism
    22. Splenetic rationalism, Austrian style
    23. The economists of ideology: Heilbroner, Rossetti, and Mirowski
    24. Rhetoric as morally radical
    Part VI. Peroration:
    25. The economy as a conversation
    26. The consequences of rhetoric.

  • Author

    Deirdre N. McCloskey, University of Iowa

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