LONGAKER, Mark Garrett
Spring 2011, 41:2, pages 125 - 144
John Locke's Monetary Argument: An Analysis with Methodological and Historical Implications
Abstract: Rhetorical analysis of John Locke's monetary arguments reveals that Locke relied on a core enthymeme that deployed several rhetorical devices (including a narrative diegesis, a dissociation and hierarchization of terms, and several metaphors) to synthesize two contradictory and common beliefs about money's value—money's value is determined by supply and demand; money's value is determined by substance. Moreover, this analysis revitalizes the conversation between economists and rhetoricians by presenting rhetorical analysis as a way to discover causal mechanisms. Finally, locating causal mechanisms allows an historical understanding of how debates have been shaped by the available means of persuasion.