The Cultivation of Cosmopolitan Detachment in Comparative Law: The Hellenistic Contributions

This article explores the kind of detachment needed to conduct comparative law scholarship and teaching, as well as implement its application to practical problems. The full and fair comparison of the law requires a cosmopolitan view which embodies some degree of detachment from adherence to the laws of one's ``home". The Enlightenment efforts to build a science of comparative law to achieve this detachment failed. Modern inheritors of the Enlightenment approach have similarly failed. In a series of articles, I argue that we must return to the ancient effort to achieve a new ``objectivity" through Hellenic deliberation, Hellenistic detachment, Roman rhetoric, Christian dialectic and the canonics of the empire's codification process. This article focuses upon the Hellenistic contributions to achievement of cosmopolitan detachment. The Cynic, Skeptic Stoic and Epicurean doctrines and ethical education offer an alternative route to the detachment necessary for a comparative law.
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