The Rhetoric of Economics

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Mind Map by wenzoid, updated more than 1 year ago
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Mind Map on The Rhetoric of Economics, created by wenzoid on 12/07/2014.

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The Rhetoric of Economics
1 Be Not Afraid
1.1 The Alternative to Modernism is not Irrationalism
1.1.1 The invitation to rhetoric is 'an invitation to leave the irrationality of an artificially narrowed angle of arguments and to move to the rationality of arguing like human beings.'
1.2 The Barbarians are not at the Gates
1.3 There is no Good Reason to Wish to Make "Scientific" as Against Plausible Statements
2 Rhetoric is Disciplined Conversation
2.1 What is rhetoric?
2.1.1 Rhetoric is "the art of probing what men believe they ought to believe, rather than proving what is true according to abstract methods". - Wayne Booth
2.1.2 It is also exploring thought by conversation.
2.2 What is disciplined conversation?
3 The Official Methodology of Economics is Modernist
3.1 What is modernism?
3.1.1 There are two attitudes to the methodology of Economics. One of which being that Economics is a modern form of science. Others believe that Economics is not a science.
3.1.2 Economics may be seen as a science for many reasons. One example of this is that Economics, like other sciences, is based upon prediction and uses measurements.
4 Modernism is a Poor Method
4.1 What is wrong with modernism?
4.1.1 Some may question whether economics is a science, as economists also use literary methods too.
4.1.1.1 McCloskey argues that other 'proper sciences' also use literary methods. An example of this is that physicists use metaphors in their worth such as the string theory and billiard balls on curved billiard tables.
4.2 Falsification is not Congent
4.2.1 Some argue that falsification is unclear when making economic hypothesis and tests e.g. "Your experiment was not properly controlled." and "You have not solved the identification problem"
4.3 Prediction is impossible in economics
4.3.1 Subjects are often defined as sciences when predictions can be made.
4.4 Modernism itself is impossible, and is not followed
4.4.1 'Modernism promises knowledge free from doubt., metaphysics, morals and personal conviction'
4.5 Any method is arrogant and pretentious
4.5.1 "Modernism is a method. It sets up laws of argument drawn from an ideal science or the underlying history of science or the essence of knowledge."
4.6 Other sciences do for follow modernist methods
4.6.1 Other sciences also do not fit the assumed definition of a science.
5 The Unofficial Rhetoric is Honourable but Unexamined
5.1 What is the unofficial rhetoric?
5.1.1 Econometric Rhetoric is too Narrow
5.1.1.1 "Any economist believes more than his evidence of a suitably modernist and objective sort implies."
5.1.2 The Controversy over Purchasing Power Parity Is an Example of Unexamined Rhetoric
6 Economics is Heavily Metaphorical
6.1 Models are Metaphors
6.1.1 One key example of this is game theory. Economists heavily use metaphors in order to create economic models of real life situations.
6.1.1.1 'The world is said to be "like" a complex model, and its measurements are said to be like the easily measured proxy variable to hand.'
6.2 Metaphors in Economics are not Ornamental
6.2.1 'An important metaphor in economics has the quality admired in a successful scientific theory, a capacity to astonish us with implications yet unseen.'
6.3 Economic Metaphors Constitute a Poetics of Economics
6.3.1 'What is successful in economic metaphor is what is successful in poetry, and is analyzable in similar terms.'
6.4 Even Mathematical Reasoning is Metaphorical
6.4.1 'The critical question is whether the opposite trick, modifying human behaviour with mathematics, is also metaphorical.'...'But mathematical theorizing in economics is metaphorical, and literary.'
6.5 Literary Thinking Reunifies the Two Cultures
6.5.1 McCloskey claims that metaphors are essential to economic thinking.
7 The Good of Rhetoric
7.1 Better Foreign Relations
7.2 Better Writing
7.3 Better teaching
7.3.1 Teachers do not recognise the 'tacitness of economic knowledge, and therefore teach by axiom and proof instead of by problem-solving and practice.'
7.4 Better Science
7.4.1 The modernist notion is that common sense is nonsense, that knowledge must somehow be objective'
7.5 Better Dispositions
8 The Rhetoric of Economics is a Literary Matter
8.1 Even a Modernist Uses, and Must Use Literary Devices
8.1.1 'The purpose of literary scrutiny of economic argument would be to see beyond the received view on its content.'
8.2 Most of the Devices are Only Dimly Recognized
8.2.1 Legal reasoning is often the basis of economic debate. Booth states "the processes developed in the law are codifications of reasonable processes that we follow in every part of our lives, even the scientific." (1974, p.157)
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