Causation and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals, and Metaphysics

Causation and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals, and Metaphysics

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The concept of causation is fundamental to ascribing moral and legal responsibility for events. Yet the relationship between causation and responsibility remains unclear. What precisely is the connection between the concept of causation used in attributing responsibility and the accounts of causal relations offered in the philosophy of science and metaphysics? How much of what we call causal responsibility is in truth defined by non-causal factors? This book argues that much of the legal doctrine on these questions is confused and incoherent, and offers the first comprehensive attempt since Hart and HonorAc to clarify the philosophical background to the legal and moral debates. The book first sets out the place of causation in criminal and tort law and outlines the metaphysics presupposed by the legal doctrine. It then analyses the best theoretical accounts of causation in the philosophy of science and metaphysics, and using these accounts criticises many of the core legal concepts surrounding causation - such as intervening causation, forseeability of harm and complicity. It considers and rejects the radical proposals to eliminate the notion of causation from law by using risk analysis to attribute responsibility. The result of the analysis is a powerful argument for revising our understanding of the role played by causation in the attribution of legal and moral responsibility.I assume that it is worthwhile figuring out the function and nature of a property like causation, both in the law and out. ... The students who have filled some of my seminars over the years communicated their insights and their enthusiasm, making ... and most of all, the law students at the University of Illinois College of Law, who with interest and good humor worked ... in legal theory were kind enough to gather together in November 2006 to discuss the various topics raised in this book.

Title:Causation and Responsibility: An Essay in Law, Morals, and Metaphysics
Author:Michael S. Moore
Publisher:OUP Oxford - 2009-01-22


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