A taxonomy of comparison
The use of the accessus ad auctores is an organizing principle that aligns with the functions of various aspects of comparison. There are of course alternatives, such as formalism, encyclopedism, translationalism, and immersion. Formalism in domestic law grows out of a sense that principles of law can be applied as forms to facts to determine just resolution of conflict or disputes. Bernhard Grossfeld mobilizes translation as an alternative method for comparative law. Among comparativists, Vivian Curran expresses discontent with functionalism. Like Grossfeld’s translationalism, Curran’s notion of immersion offers an alternative to functionalism. The work of Curran guides things in the direction of addressing the language questions of comparative law, and away from pure discussions of method or ideology. Curran’s critique is related to a more general critique of the identity–difference principle. Curran’s preferred alternative mode of comparison is through immersion in the new legal culture.