Discovering Rhetoric: The Ecology of Enterprise in the Bourgeois Era
24 Pages Posted: 1 Oct 2011 Last revised: 9 May 2012
Date Written: May 8, 2012
Deirdre McCloskey's Bourgeois Dignity deploys Israel Kirzner's theory of entrepreneurial discovery as a critical component in her explanation of the Industrial Revolution. This essay examines whether Kirzner's theory can bear the analytical load that McCloskey would place on it. I identify two potential incongruities between Kirzner's theory and McCloskey's historical account but find them both unconvincing. Kirzner's entrepreneur is a good fit for McCloskey's story. I argue further that the fit can be strengthened by incorporating further elements of Kirzner's theory, including entrepreneurial alertness.
Keywords: Industrial Revolution, Entrepreneurship, Rhetoric
JEL Classification: B53, O1, N13
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation