Departmental Bulletin Paper フーコー権力論と会計学説史
Foucault's Power Theory and History of Accounting Theories

全, 在紋

The conclusions reached in this paper are summarized as follows: (1) In regard to the linguistic view in the background of episteme, Foucault asserts that it was ressemblance in the medieval period. This linguistic view seems to overlap what is called the "personalistic theory of accounts" (personification theory). There is an opinion that the explanation of debit/credit relation in Pacioli's Summa was an early personalistic theory of accounts. If this opinion is right, Foucault's theory concerning the linguistic view in the Renaissance period will be supported by the theory of accounting history. (2) Personalistic theories of accounts take the view that accounts are the relation of person and person. Materialistic theories of accounts, on the other hand, take the view that accounts are the relation of material and material. In the popular opinion of accounting schools, materialistic theory is a" proper theory of accounts" and a scientific accounting theory in line with economic facts. Materialistic theories of accounts criticize personalistic theories of accounts to be simple rhetorical theories. However, based on Saussurian linguistics, materialistic theory is just the theory of meaning as substance and only a rhetorical doctrine too. (3) According to Foucault, modern society is in the age of "episteme", which stresses" the principle of human beings." He asserts that the concept of "human beings" as an `object' of learning is only a peculiar idea in modern society. A symbolic accounting example seems to be "human resource accounting," which studies human beings as a central theme. Research into human resource accounting has not developed in accounting schools. That is because the vanity of the concept of "human beings" is much bigger than the difficulty in measuring the value of human resources. This is a suggestion we have obtained from Foucault. (4) Contemporary management power frequently interprets the human environment as many kinds of statistical data to more conveniently govern those people who are ruled. In line with this trend, "empirical research," which extensively uses probability and statistics, has recently become the mainstream in accounting research in Europe, the US, Korea and Japan. This symbolizes the fact that accounting theories as intelligence serve contemporary power unconsciously. This remarkable trend of empirical research does not seem to be the outcome by human progress; it is just the result of the hidden strategy of contemporary power. (5) Modern disciplinary power plans the maintenance of power in everything by writing down rules (ecriture). This leads to the revenue and expense view or the rules-based approach in accounting theories. Contemporary environmental power plans the maintenance of power by raising efficiency through a safety system which relies on a lesser amount of fear in a sense. This leads to the asset and liability view or the principles-based approach. According to Foucault's discourse, the U.S. accounting standards and Japanese accounting standards will come close to the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), regardless of whether or not human progress is achieved. (6) Foucault called the framework of knowledge (truth) which is united with power "episteme" Concerning episteme, he archeologically identified four ages: (1) the Renaissance period (the Middle Ages), (2) the Classical period, (3) the Modern period, and (4) the Contemporary period, which is expected to arrive in the future. The change in episteme, on which Foucault's power theory is based, is fully verified in the historical transition of accounting theories.

Number of accesses :  

Other information