Animal spirits in his soup

A look at the methodology and rhetoric of the general theory

Craig Freedman*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Part of Keynes’ ‘struggle of escape from habitual modes of thought and expression’ (Keynes 1960: viii) involves an implicit attempt to break with the methodology as well as the theory of the past. Unfortunately the rhetorical strategy Keynes adopted in The General Theory blurred this attempt. As a result, it is only by examining both the methodology and rhetoric embedded in this work that it becomes possible to understand the book as a coherent whole. This paper demonstrates the validity of taking such an approach.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)79-104
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Economic Methodology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1995


  • convention
  • General Theory
  • Keynes
  • methodology
  • rhetoric

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