Works, Fireworks, and Frameworks: Economics and Rhetorico- Pragmatics

We argue the case for a combination of rhetoric and pragmatics in the analysis of economic discourse. We contend that such a rhetorico-pragmatic approach is a viable alternative to both the excesses of the “rhetorical turn” and to the over-reaction of methodologists who discard as irrelevant a careful textual analysis and stick to the belief that economic knowledge progresses only through the conscientious application of Method. We examine two privileged grounds where the rhetorico-pragmatic approach does better than either Pure Rhetoric or Pure Methodology: first, a study of economic controversies as the framework within which economic works take shape; secondly, a study of the cognitive role of metaphors in economic discourse.
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