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Description Is Not Explanation: a Methodology of Comparison

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This essay presents a methodological framework for the comparative study of religion by analyzing academic description and explanation. It demonstrates how these two methods are in fact different forms of comparison with distinct goals and objectives. It further argues that description and explanation are related according to Bertrand Russell's theory of logical types and that successful comparative study adheres to the principles of logical typing. The essay aims to encourage more confident comparative studies in the History of Religions.

Affiliations: 1: Davidson College

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