La retorica nell’economics. Una techne che ha assicurato il trionfo della disciplina / The Rethoric into Economics. A techne has provided the triumph of this issue

  • Maria Grazia Turri
Keywords: rhetoric, economics, metaphors, theology, ethics


The aim of the paper is that the rhetoric in economics is the basis of accepting or rejecting an economic theory and always the rhetoric is the criterion that can persuade colleagues, students, stakeholders, politicians and citizens about the plausibility of specific economic theory. How Deirdre McCloskey has clearly demonstrated the key question of accepting an economic theory as scientific is neither the perfect correspondence with the rules of epistemology nor the matter of truth but the persuasiveness of the theory’s creator. Mainstream economics say that a theory is scientific only in one case: if it follow the rules of epistemology as perfectly as possible. These include methods like induction, deduction, models and observation, and tools like equations, axioms and assumptions, so economists use both facts and logic in their theories. But nonetheless, not just mainstream economists, but every economists adopt a lot of metaphors, most of whom have a theological foundation and are included into a storytelling, so the argumentation becomes more persuasive. Economists use a language that is settled on by some kind of formalism - equations, axioms and assumptions borrowed from physics and mathematics -, but it is permeated with rhetorical figures and it is built on Aristotle’s discipline. So, economists are, in fact, sellers on the market of economic theories and who are the most persuasive will be able to sell their theories


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How to Cite
Turri, M. G. (1) “La retorica nell’economics. Una techne che ha assicurato il trionfo della disciplina / The Rethoric into Economics. A techne has provided the triumph of this issue”, Rivista Italiana di Filosofia del Linguaggio, 00. Available at: (Accessed: 28September2023).