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Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics - Deirdre N. McCloskey

Knowledge and Persuasion in Economics

Paperback Published: 4th July 1994
ISBN: 9780521436038
Number Of Pages: 464

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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

Exordium
A positivist youth
Kicking the dead horse
Narration
Economics in the human conversation
The rhetoric of economics
Division
The Science word in economics
Three ways of reading economics to criticize itself
Popper and Lakatos: thin ways of reading economics
Thick readings: ethics, economics, sociology and rhetoric
Proof
The rise of a scientistic style
The rhetoric of mathematical formalism: existence theorems
General equilibrium and the rhetorical history of formalism
Blackboard Marxism
Formalists as poets and politicians
Refutation
The very idea of epistemology
The tu quoque argument and the claims of rationalism
Armchair philosophy of economics: Rosenberg and Hausman
Philosophy of science without epistemology: the Popperians
The Rosenberg: reactionary modernism
Methodologists of economics, big-M and small
Getting 'rhetoric': Mark Blaug and the Eleatic Stranger
Coats/McPherson/Friedman: anti-meta-post-modernism
Splenetic rationalism, Austrian style
The economists of ideology: Heilbroner, Rossetti, and Mirowski
Rhetoric as morally radical
Peroration
The economy as a conversation
The consequences of rhetoric
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780521436038
ISBN-10: 0521436036
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 464
Published: 4th July 1994
Publisher: CAMBRIDGE UNIV PR
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 22.81 x 15.34  x 2.74
Weight (kg): 0.73

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