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Book chapters (2011), Comptabilité, contrôle et société, Foucher, pp. 55-65

Du chiffre, adoré ou exécré, au chiffrage, pratiqué

The evaluation of action through numbers extends to all areas of social life. It simultaneously generates opposite and extreme emotional moves: idealizing (numbers are proofs of rigor) and demonizing (numbers as denial of human values). This paper attempts to analyze this situation by resorting to pragmatist semiotics. Performance quantification produces numbers which, with regard to evaluated action, are simultaneously icons (its mimetic representation, to predict and control it), indexes (its material traces, to trigger and feed inquiries) and symbols (demonstration of compliance with social conventions). Due to the general avoidance of complexity, the symbolic function tends to dominate or eliminate iconic and indexical functions, to deprive figures from their social sense and to cause dogmatic encounters. It is urgent to develop the social process of “quantifying” and, beyond, “evaluating”, as the collective and contradictory construction of judgments, to escape the illusion of reading values in figures automatically.

LORINO, P. (2011). Du chiffre, adoré ou exécré, au chiffrage, pratiqué. In: Comptabilité, contrôle et société. 1st ed. Foucher, pp. 55-65.

Keywords : #Chiffrage, #Chiffre, #Comptabilité, #Evaluation, #Peirce, #Performance, #Sémiotique, #Signe