The aim of this work is to analyze the thought by Niccolò D’Anastasio, through his work, entitled “La scrittura doppia ridotta scienza” (The double-entry bookkeeping as a science) (D’Anastasio, 1803a; D’Anastasio, 1803b). This inquiry has been performed by analyzing the Scholar’s slants, in relation to the historical time he lived in, and seeking to assess whether and how he contributed to the development of Accounting. Indeed, the work by D’Anastasio displays many insights, which deserve to be highlighted as part of the cultural enrichment path of Accounting. This remark is based on the belief that in the evaluation of historical facts, final judgments do not exist and there is always room for further thoughts compared to prior stances (Canfora, 2017). From a methodological perspective, we have put into context the Author in the geographical area and in the historical period he lived. So, we have analyzed D’Anastasio’s work, as a primary source, and the theoretical positions about him over time, as a secondary source. We have followed a horizontal approach, insofar as the analyses on the Scholar was carried out with reference both to the hitherto scientific background and to the development of Bookkeeping. Therefore, we have linked the thought by D’Anastasio with the theoretical stances immediately prior and subsequent to him, thus retracing the insights he provided with reference to either social and cultural events or bonds which had marked the development path of the accounting practice (Miller, Hopper and Laughlin, 1991; Giannessi, 1992; Keenan, 1998; Amaduzzi, 2004; Carmona, Ezzamel and Gutiérrez, 2004; Antonelli and D’Alessio, 2011). It is worth noting that our inquiry has not provided any useful information about the life of the Scholar. Nothing new has emerged neither at the Venice State Archive nor at the Historical Library of the University Ca’ Foscari of Venice, although extensive investigations have been performed therein, as well as on biographical and bibliographical sources. That said, from the structure of the work it can be inferred that D’Anastasio might not have been an academic scholar. Such a consideration emerges since he mentioned neither other accounting scholars nor he deepened the accounting thought at that time. So, this would be contradictory, insofar as the Author dwelled a great deal on the scientific side of his essay as well as on the purpose he envisaged, that is to set down a theoretic frame for the double-entry method. Regardless of the rank of science by which D’Anastasio referenced his work, it is acknowledged by Accounting scholars that the early 19th century marks a fundamental recovery in accounting studies, thus setting the stage for the further upswing, in the second half of that century (Coronella, 2007, 119 ff.). In this direction, the switching from stillness to the resumption of scientific outputs is precisely marked by D’Anastasio’s work, as is evident from his quotation in the preface: “My intention to break the almost universal silence in these theories seemed perhaps too daring” (D’Anastasio, 1803a, 5). In the period immediately prior to the drafting of the work here discussed, along with the economic and social degradation, a significant decline in the quality of the works of Italian Accounting scholars rose (Bariola, 1897, 419-422; Brambilla, 1898, 4; Ceccherelli, 1915, 75-76; Melis, 1950, 714-715; Giannessi, 1979, 232-233; Masi, 1997, 233-234; Serra, 1999, 221-222; Privitera, 2003, 211-213). The Italian Accounting authors of the 18th century, although numerous (Giuseppe Vergani, Sanpierdarena Nunzio Giuseppe Carlo Amato ed Urso, Giovanni Cavalà Pasini, Pellegrino Balugani, Vincenzo Maria Arena, Tommaso Domenico Breglia, Pietro Paolo Scali, Giacomo Della Gatta, Giuseppe Enea Marchi, Francescantonio Filonzi, Santi Giusti, Carl'Antonio Monti, Giovan-Domenico Bassaglia, Fererio Farghiscoc Antonino and Giuseppe Forni, as well as several Anonymous ones), did not have a great impact (Coronella, 2014, 132 -174). On the contrary, from the late 18th century and with considerable influence for much of the 19th century, scholars from other Countries, notably from France (in particular Edmond Dégrange) and UK (in precisely Edward Thomas Jones) virtually monopolized the European accounting culture, including the Italian one (Brown, 1905, 159-170; Reymondin, 1909, 48-53; Vlaemminck, 1956, 139-149). Their works were translated into numerous languages and, specifically, that by Dégrange was updated and reprinted over a span of more than a century. In such a fruitless context for the Italian Accounting, the slants by D’Anastasio emerged. At the beginning of the 19th century, compared to the prior Italian “decadent” contribution, he introduced a series of prominent insights, which would have been a forerunner of the further improvements of the discipline.
|Titolo:||Niccolò D’Anastasio and his Scrittura doppia ridotta scienza|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2018|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||2.1 Contributo in volume (Capitolo o Saggio)|