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AbstractThis article attempts to deliver an epistemological look at a differential and contrastive kind of comparison. A differential comparison aims to avoid the epistemological prejudices of the similar and of the universal, and assumes the principle of the co-presence and of the non-hierarchic relationship between texts put in a comparative relation. By referring to Wittgenstein’s concepts, I maintain that comparing is not simply seeing (observing), but rather “seeing as”, seeing according to a schematizing rule which offers the comparative criterion by showing the relevant traits of the phenomena put in a synoptic co-presence. I also point out that this comparative procedure is related to Peirce’s hypothetical and indirect inference which consists of collecting different data and formulating a configuration hypothesis that gives a coherent form to the data.