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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

Queen's University Belfast Law Research Paper No. 2930009

U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 538

21 Pages Posted: 10 Mar 2017 Last revised: 5 Jul 2017

Christopher McCrudden

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law; University of Michigan Law School

Date Written: March 9, 2017

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

McCrudden, Christopher, What Does It Mean to Compare, and What Should It Mean? (March 9, 2017). 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; Queen's University Belfast Law Research Paper No. 2930009; U of Michigan Public Law Research Paper No. 538. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2930009

Christopher McCrudden (Contact Author)

Queen's University Belfast - School of Law ( email )

School of Law
Belfast BT7 1NN, Northern Ireland BT7 1NN
United Kingdom

University of Michigan Law School ( email )

625 South State Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1215
United States

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