The Role of Rhetoric in Economics and Economy*

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In this paper we attempt to show that rhetoric plays an important role in economics as a science and in economy as a social system. Our task is rather demonstrative, but it aims at stripping away the illusion that economics has acquired a status equal to the natural sciences, in which there is no place for subjectivism and ambiguity. Economics belongs, after all, to the realm of the social sciences and as such it is subject to the limitations of human cognition and understanding. We show that economics as a science is not free from employing sophisticated methods of persuasion and rhetoric. Next, we also try to demonstrate that rhetoric can be a useful tool in creating economic reality. It does not have influence on economic processes per se, but it is helpful in constructing an institutional architecture of the economy by influencing public opinion and decision makers.

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