Comparative Law and Comparative Knowledge

Nils Jansen

in The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780199296064
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Law

 Comparative Law and Comparative Knowledge

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Methodological investigations should abstain from normatively imposing one's own epistemological interests on others. This article analyses different forms of comparison and comparative knowledge in order to clarify these ideas. Two lessons may be particularly important for the comparative lawyer. First, historical linguistics reminds other comparative disciplines not to be content with judgments of similarity. Unearthing genetic relations between different systems may add considerably to comparative knowledge. The second lesson concerns the conceptual and theoretical structure of tertia comparationis. Of course, lawyers have always been aware of the fact that comparison may entail the necessity of developing suitable instruments for neutrally describing the legal systems compared. But compared to practitioners of comparative religion or comparative history, lawyers have made relatively little progress in this regard.

Keywords: comparative judgments; historical linguistics; tertia comparationis; neutral legal system; comparative history

Article.  15403 words. 

Subjects: Law ; Comparative Law

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