Many criticisms have been leveled at the dominant positivist accounting research paradigm. This paper links this modern research paradigm to the development of double entry bookkeeping, which itself was part of a larger intellectual movement toward quantitative knowledge production, referred to herein as the quantification paradigm shift. Among the items discussed are the socio-economic forces that facilitated this shift, the role played by this movement in the development of accounting techniques, the advent of the concept of profit, and the emergence of positivism in accounting research. These items will be analyzed in the light of historical changes in philosophy and science, critical perspectives on the dominant research paradigm, and calls for alternative research programs.

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