© 2019

The Birth of Economic Rhetoric

Communication, Arts and Economic Stimulus in David Hume and Adam Smith

  • Introduces Adam Smith's Rhetoric Lectures, contextualising their importance alongside the work of Addison and Burke

  • Considers the consequences of language for economic theory

  • Brings together economic theory and philosophy in one study

  • Presents the Scottish Enlightenment as an innovative event with its own characteristics


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-v
  2. Estrella Trincado
    Pages 1-13
  3. Estrella Trincado
    Pages 15-34
  4. Estrella Trincado
    Pages 35-86
  5. Estrella Trincado
    Pages 87-117
  6. Estrella Trincado
    Pages 119-151
  7. Estrella Trincado
    Pages 153-183
  8. Back Matter
    Pages 185-218

About this book


“I share with the author the conviction that Smith’s interest for and theories of rhetoric and language need to be re-assessed to better understand his political economy, and more generally his system of thought. This book has important insights to offer on Smith’s views on rhetoric and language and also on Hume and Smith’s economics”
Benoît Walraevens, Professor of Experimental and Behavioural Economics, UNSW Business School, Australia.

This book explores and compares the works of two great economists and philosophers, David Hume and Adam Smith, considering their contributions to language, perception, sympathy, reason, art and theatre to find a general theory of rationality and economics. The author considers and analyses both figures through a range of approaches, and moves on to demonstrate how different concepts of language affect Hume's and Smith's idea of value and economic growth. This book contributes to a wider literature on communication and language to demonstrate that economics is linked to rhetoric and is an essential part of human nature.


Rhetoric Rationality David Hume Adam Smith Scottish Enlightenment Utilitarianism Economic Rhetoric Phenomenalism Smithian philosophy of language Adam Smith's lectures Moral naturalism

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Facultad CC. Economicas y EmpresarialesComplutense University of Madrid, Campus de SomosaguasPozuelo de Alarcón, MadridSpain

About the authors

Estrella Trincado  is Professor of Economic History and History of Economic Thought at the Complutense University of Madrid, Spain. Her research interests specialise in the history of economic thought in general and in classical economics in particular. In 2011 she won the Young Scholar of the Year award presented at the European Society for the History of Economic Thought(ESHET). Estrella is an author of books and has contributed to book chapters and a number of papers published in international journals.

Bibliographic information

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