Accountability LO13627

Richard C. \ (
Thu, 15 May 1997 21:22:29 -0700

Replying to LO13605 --

...and LO13954, 13608, 13600.

whew! so much accountability talk is depressing!

Please don't misunderstand--I enjoyed the dialog--the topic is
disconcerting. I empathized with John Constantine's posting.

The dialog reminds me of Ortega y Gasset's words in "Man and People." He
said that "One of the greatest misfortunes of our time is the acute
incongruity between the importance that all these questions have at
present and the crudeness and confusion of the concepts of them which
these words represent."

My Random House dictionary (cheap, but effective) provides 2 definitions
for Accountable:

1. subject to having to report, explain, or justify; responsible;
2. that can be explained, explicable.

I guess that's my problem. Accountability carries the connotation of
subordination based on justifying. I hate to justify. It may also me
considered as a value by some, isolated from more important principles and
values. The same dictionary provides a multitude of definitions for
responsibility--the first three related to accountability. The 4th
definition discusses "having a capacity for moral decisions and therefore
accountable; capable of rational thought or action," a legal definition.

Ultimately, accountability or responsibility are those conditions of
social life that we acknowledge as binding us to a particular behavior or
sets of behavior. None of us will agree on what those conditions are,
except generally and even then, situationally. I believe that within
these posting I hear a great intent to project values onto others and then
moan over those others' great lack of accountability.

In a material, social context, if I employ you then I create the standards
for accountability. The employment relationship implies your acceptance
of my standards. However, if I want your creativity, your heart, then I
may need to create a shared concept of these terms with you.

Enough rambling--

Richard C. "Doc" Holloway, Limen Development Network -

"I am myself and my circumstances." Jose Ortega y Gasset

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