Division: the Mäki diagnosis
Probably the most interesting and fruitful response to McCloskey’s rhetoric was the economic philosopher Uskali Mäki’s series of critiques focusing primarily on his specialty: realism. These include “How to Combine Rhetoric and Realism in the Methodology of Economics” (1988a), “Realism, Economics and Rhetoric: A Rejoinder to McCloskey” (1988b), “Two Philosophies of the Rhetoric of Economics” (1993), and finally “Diagnosing McCloskey” (1995), which came right after McCloskey’s Knowledge and Persuasion (1994). The diagnosis includes and refines Mäki’s major arguments, and has the advantage of having a direct response by McCloskey in the same issue of the Journal of Economic Literature: “Modern Epistemology Against Analytical Philosophy: A Reply to Mäki” (1995a). Since I intend to proceed with a close reading of one representative text, the diagnosis seems ideal.