What Does It Mean to Compare, and What Should It Mean?
Samantha Besson, Lukas Heckendorn Urscheler, and Samuel Jubé (eds), Comparing Comparative Law, Publications of the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, Geneva/Zurich 2017, Schulthess Editions Romandes
21 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2017 Last revised: 5 Jul 2017
Date Written: March 9, 2017
This paper considers what comparison (in general) means, in the sense of what the nature and purpose of comparison is. I aim to produce a rough taxonomy of the common aims of comparison, and why it appears to be so controversial. I am particularly interested in considering when comparisons are regarded as inappropriate, and I contrast conventions regarding inappropriate comparison in legal scholarship with several other disciplines where conventions about what it is inappropriate to compare have developed.
Keywords: Comparison, analogy, John Stuart Mill, methodology, dialogue
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