IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Pluralism, Heterodoxy, and the Rhetoric of Distinction


  • Andrew Mearman

    (University of the West of England, Bristol)


The paper addresses the arguments made by Frederic Lee on heterodoxy and pluralism. It argues that the definitions of mainstream and heterodox, and consequently the differences between them, are highly problematic. Specifically it challenges Lee’s characterizations of mainstream and heterodox economics as noncomparable. Attempts to contrast them starkly are part of a rhetoric of distinction which may be problematic. Thus, Lee’s concept of intellectual pluralism may be weaker than it seems, because it is based on distinction and its tolerance, rather than an embrace of diversity. Further, both theoretical and intellectual pluralism may be based on wider epistemological and ontological grounds and thus Lee’s distinction between them may also be problematic. Sheila Dow’s structured pluralism may be a more productive way of embracing difference.JEL classification: B40, B5

Suggested Citation

  • Andrew Mearman, 2011. "Pluralism, Heterodoxy, and the Rhetoric of Distinction," Review of Radical Political Economics, Union for Radical Political Economics, vol. 43(4), pages 552-561, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:43:y:2011:i:4:p:552-561

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Robert Garnett & Andrew Mearman, 2011. "Contending Perspectives, Twenty Years On: What Have Our Students Learned?," Working Papers 201104, Texas Christian University, Department of Economics.
    2. Soldatos, Gerasimos T., 2014. "On the Religion-Public Policy Correlation," MPRA Paper 60859, University Library of Munich, Germany.

    More about this item


    pluralism; heterodoxy; rhetoric; dualism;

    JEL classification:

    • B40 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology - - - General
    • B5 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Current Heterodox Approaches


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:reorpe:v:43:y:2011:i:4:p:552-561. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.