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Unpublished Paper
Law and Economics as a Rhetorical Perspective in Law
ExpressO (2011)
  • Michael D. Murray
Abstract

Law and Economics as a Rhetorical Perspective in Law,

Michael D. Murray, Valparaiso University School of Law

Abstract

This article introduces twenty-first century law and economics as a school of contemporary legal rhetoric—a rhetorical lens to test and improve general legal discourse in areas beyond the economic analysis of law. The recognition that the rhetoric of law and economics is persuasive—and not just to legal economists—reveals the enormous potential of law and economics as a lens on legal discourse through which to examine the structure and design of the discourse and as a source of topics of invention and arrangement and tropes of style in the content of the discourse.

This article presents my conception of the four rhetorical canons of law and economics:

 Mathematical and scientific methods of analysis and demonstration;

 The characterization of legal phenomena as incentives and costs;

 The rhetorical economic concept of efficiency; and

 Rational choice theory as corrected by modern behavioral social sciences, cognitive studies, and brain science.

The rhetorical canons of law and economics have prescriptive implications for general legal discourse as topics of invention and arrangement and tropes of style. I examine each of the rhetorical canons and explain how each can be used to create meaning, inspire imagination, and improve the persuasiveness of legal discourse in every area of law.

Keywords
  • LAW AND ECONOMICS,
  • RHETORIC,
  • LEGAL DISCOURSE,
  • DISCOURSE COMMUNITY THEORY,
  • CONTEMPORARY RHETORIC,
  • BEHAVIORAL SCIENCE,
  • MODERN ARGUMENT THEORY
Disciplines
Publication Date
March 11, 2011
Citation Information
Michael D. Murray. "Law and Economics as a Rhetorical Perspective in Law" ExpressO (2011)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/michael_murray/1/