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The method of bookkeeping, deduced from clear principles

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James Dodson FRS devised a new way of teaching double-entry bookkeeping based on deductive logic, and he employed this method of scientific analysis to require recognition of assets and changes in their value in the absence of prior market transactions. This paper is designed to advance knowledge of accounting history by demonstrating diversity in the history of accounting thought and by revealing how it can be influenced by new ways of thinking gaining credence within the wider contemporary environment. Understanding of the history of double-entry bookkeeping is broadened and deepened by locating Dodson's treatise within the context of the scientific revolution; a time when complete obedience to the scriptures and classical authorities came under challenge from the systematic pursuit of knowledge based on reasoning, critical questioning, and the establishment of clear relationships between cause and effect.
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Keywords: James Dodson; accounting history; mathematical reasoning; scientific revolution

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Business School, Cardiff University, Aberconway Building, Colum Drive, Cardiff, CF1 3EU, UK

Publication date: February 23, 2015

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