Hugh Seton-Watson, Nations and States
(London: Methuen, 1977), p. xii:
When social scientists stress the need to compare
phenomena which may have points of similarity; and when historians insist
on the absolute uniqueness of every historical event; I find myself agreeing
with both. The either-or-ism which dogmatically rejects all comparison, or
which dismisses uniqueness as unimportant, seems to me the mark of the
barbarian; and barbarians are to be found within all academic 'disciplines'.
Both the comparable and the unique exist; the searcher after truth must
struggle always to keep them in balance, knowing that he will never be
entirely successful. If this were generally accepted, we could be spared a
great deal of odium academicum.