Metaphors as Research Tools in Economics
On the Horizon, vol. 22(4), 256-264
11 Pages Posted: 2 Dec 2014
Date Written: November 2, 2014
– The aim of this paper is to show that metaphors play an important role in the making of economics.
– The paper’s discussion is situated within the framework of methodology of economics. It refers to recent studies on the role of metaphors in economics, as well as to the rhetoric – realism controversy (e.g. D. McCloskey versus U. Mäki).
– The principal results of the paper are: the demonstration of the importance of metaphors in economics; and the claim that metaphors are not only used for rhetorical purposes but also serve as research tools indispensable in explaining economic phenomena. They are also essential in economic modeling.
– The claim that economic models function as networks of metaphors needs further in-depth study, in particular drawing on insights from cognitive linguistics, where we find many interesting research projects currently underway, would be desirable.
– The article contributes to the rhetoric – realism debate in economics. It adds some arguments to the literature claiming that rhetoric can be compatible with realism.
Keywords: Rhetoric, Realism, Metaphors, Methodology of economics, Economic theorizing
JEL Classification: B40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation