For example, this article about Personal Autonomy is talking about "Four More or Less Overlapping Accounts of Personal Autonomy". I understand that "account" here can be substituted with:

  • approach
  • explanation
  • model
  • theory
  • consideration
  • perspective

This question was asked before on ELU and received two answers. The accepted answer says that the usage of "account" is not common, and is better replaced by "model" or "theory". However, I feel that all three words are actually used commonly within the philosophy circle, suggesting that there are specific contexts where "account" is a better word choice than the others. Therefore, I think reasking it in Philosophy SE would reveal more subtle things that most folks in ELU may not be aware of. (It is not a good idea to simply migrating the question to here.)

  • 1
    This belongs on ELU, not here. The accepted ELU answer is correct, except for the last line: 'account' is commonly use in intellectual circles for descriptions that don't rise to the level of a formal theory or model. But no one's perfect. There's no sense starting a cross-site debate, so I'm voting to close this. – Ted Wrigley Jan 13 at 16:09
  • 1
    I agree with Ted. "Account" is something more than "approach" but that does not rise to the level of a "theory", "model" is rarely used this way in philosophy. But the use is vague and not regimented, it is more of a colloquial choice. – Conifold Jan 13 at 21:26
  • @Conifold I think that would be a good answer. You may want to make it as an answer in here or in ELU. My language doesn't seem to have a word that is more than an approach but less than a theory, so I guess I'll translate that word as if it is "approach" or "theory". Between the two, which one do you think is closer to "approach"? – Ooker Jan 14 at 3:06

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