How Language is Used to Do Business. Essays on the Rhetoric of Economics

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This edited volume of papers on rhetoric and economics grew out of an interdisciplinary conference held at Millikin University in the summer of 2005. Drawing on economist Deirdre McCloskey’s pioneering work, The Rhetoric of Economics, the essays seek to integrate the analytic study of language use in economic theory with an appreciation for its effect on the material culture that supports social life.


“This book, edited by Edward Clift, collects together for the first time a transdisciplinary (and truly international) conversation about language, rhetoric, and economics, and ... how rhetoric essentially is the economy.” – Steve Ziliak, Professor of Economics, Roosevelt University

Table of Contents

Preface - Paul Turpin
Foreword: “How to Buy, Sell, Make, Manage, Produce, Transact, Consume, with Words” – Deirdre McCloskey
Introduction – Edward M. Clift
1 Rhetoric, Markets, and Value Creation: Notes towards a Productive Rhetoric – Locke Carter
2 J.S. Mill’s Art and Business of Life and the Humility of Bona Fide Scholarship – David Gore
3 The Meaning-Surplus of Rhetoric and Hermeneutics: Metaphor and Humanism in Economics – Till Düppe
4 The State of Economics Methodology in the Education of Economics in Iran – Mohammad Hassan Fotros
5 Neoliberalism and Rhetoric: The Brazilian Chapter – Leda Maria Paulani
6 Teaching Rhetoric with Economics: A Canon of Eloquence, Truth, Lies, or All of the Above? – Ken Baake
7 Negotiating Transaction Cost Economics: Oliver Williamson and his Audiences – Huascar F. Pessali and Ramón G. Fernández
8 The Cameelious Hump and ‘Just-So Stories’ in Economic Literature: A Linguistic Analysis – Benedikt Szmrecsanyi and Nils Goldschmidt
9 Making Rhetoric Work: An Analysis of the Work of Robert Putnam – Leonardo M. Monasterio and Ramón G. Fernández
10 The Rhetoricity of Enterprise – Dale Cyphert
11 Making McCloskey’s Rhetoric Empirical: Company Law and Tragedies of the Commons in Nineteenth-Century Britain – Wade E. Shilts
12 The Devil and the Angel Whispering in the Spouse’s Ear: Protecting Sanctity of the Marriage between Antitrust and Economics – Benjamin Balak and Jonathan M. Lave
13 Inventing Markets: Limits of Construction, Limits of Fact – Michael Salvo
14 Economic Externalities and Ecologies: Opportunities to Solve Market Failures that Cause Air Pollution – Joseph Siry
15 The Market as Metaphor: Four Stories of the Market at U.S. Policy Think Tanks – Peter-Wim Zuidhof
16 Money Talks: Alan Greenspan and the Voice of Capital – Geoffrey D. Klinger
17 Premonition as Profit: Hyper-Capitalism and the Cultivation of Anxiety – Edward M. Clift

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