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.
"...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