1 Warren J. Samuels The study of ecomics as discourse requires a perspective that focuses on the relationships among kwledge (or truth), discourse (or lan- guage), and meaning. Central to this task is the recognition that the con- duct of ecomic analysis uses words and that words embody meanings that are applied to the object of study, but do t necessarily derive from that object although they define that object for us. Kwledge Ecomists are engaged in efforts to understand and explain the econ- omy. In the pursuit of this kwledge they have attempted to make coherent the respect(s) in which belief is to be accepted as kwledge, or the sense(s) in which this kwledge has the quality of truth. The field of methodology in ecomics parallels the fields of epistemology and philosophy of science in the attempt to make sense of and to prescribe the terms on which efforts at kwledge may be accepted as true, or the terms on which statements can be accepted as kwledge. The conduct of such methodological inquiry typically treats ecomics as a science 1 2 ECONOMICS AS DISCOURSE engaged in the pursuit of truth as an epistemological category - though there have almost always been ecomists who were skeptical of the status of ecomics as a science, and the pursuit of kwledge is only one of three putative function of ecomics, the other two being psychic balm and social control.