Law and Economics as a Rhetorical Perspective in Law
Michael D. Murray
This article introduces twenty-first century law and economics as a school of contemporary legal rhetoric to test and improve general legal discourse in areas beyond the economic analysis of law. My article is the first to examine the prescriptive implications of the rhetoric of law and economics for general legal discourse as opposed to examining the benefits and limitations of the economic analysis of law itself. This article advances the conversation in two areas: the study and understanding of the persuasiveness of law and economics and the study and understanding of the use of economic topics of invention and arrangement and tropes of style in general legal discourse when evaluated in comparison to the other schools of classical and contemporary legal rhetoric.
First, this article presents my conception and analysis 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.
Second, I examine each of the rhetorical canons of law and economics and explain how each can be used to create meaning, inspire imagination, and improve the persuasiveness of legal discourse in every area of law.
My conclusions are that the rhetorical canons of law and economics can be used to improve the persuasiveness of general legal discourse when used ethically in rhetorical situations appropriate for economic topics of invention and arrangement and tropes of style.
Murray, Michael D., "Law and Economics as a Rhetorical Perspective in Law" (2011). Law Faculty Publications. 8.