Realism in Financial Reporting: What’s Really at Stake in the Disputes

47 Pages Posted: 30 Jul 2013

See all articles by Mihaela Ionascu

Mihaela Ionascu

The Bucharest University of Economic Studies

David J. A. Alexander

University of Birmingham Business School

Date Written: February 20, 2008

Abstract

This paper develops the arguments in several recent papers in both the philosophical literature and the accounting literature concerning the nature of economic reality and the stake of preserving realism as an ontological presupposition in financial reporting. We base much of our analysis on Searle (1965, 1995) as well as on his later works (Searle 2005, 2006a, 2006b) which have not yet been taken into consideration in accounting ontological debates, and his claims to defend a heavily nuanced (read: watered down) version of external reality. The analysis is a critical one, as we fear that both the attempts to explain the ontology of accounting information by means of different philosophical theories, as well as the very theories chosen for such purposes are subject to inconsistencies which need to be made explicit in the account.

Keywords: external realism in financial reporting, ontology of accounting objects, Searle's social construction of reality theoretic

Suggested Citation

Ionascu, Mihaela and Alexander, David J. A., Realism in Financial Reporting: What’s Really at Stake in the Disputes (February 20, 2008). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2302854 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2302854

Mihaela Ionascu (Contact Author)

The Bucharest University of Economic Studies ( email )

Piața Romană 6
Bucharest, 010374
Romania

David J. A. Alexander

University of Birmingham Business School ( email )

Edgbaston Park Road
Birmingham, B15 2TY
United Kingdom

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