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date: 22 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

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

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