Excerpt: Deirdre McCloskey, The Rhetoric of Economics

Consider, for example, the implied authors created by these opening lines in the American Economic Review‘s issue of March 1989: “Two decades of research have failed to produce professional consensus on the contribution of federal government civil rights activity to the economic progress of black Americans” (Heckman and Payner 1989, p. 138). The implied authors here are policy-oriented, precise but awkward (look at the nominal phrase “federal government civil rights activity”), aware of the longer trends in scholarship, scholarly (with a Latinate vocabulary), dignified yet decisive, men who will succeed where others have “failed”. […]

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McCloskey, D.N. (1986). The Rhetoric of Economics, University of Wisconsin Press; 2nd ed. (1998), p. 7.

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