Comparative Legal Research, Some Remarks on “Looking Out of the Cave”

Despite this risk and without limiting discussion of comparative legal research to a Platonic theory of knowledge-to which I for one would not accede-the text prompts first the inquiry, unavoidable in a constructive discussion of the matter, whether contemporary legal study in the United States is concerned with shadows in an intellectual cave-or in other words, whether it is true, as I was told years ago, partly perhaps in jest, by a late distinguished member of the Supreme Court, then Attorney General, when, encountering me on a visit to the Department of Justice, he kindly asked what I was looking for, and I said, “Justice,” that it was the last place to look.