Causation in the Law. H. L. A. Hart and Tony Honoré. Abstract. This text is an updated and extended second edition supporting the findings of its well-known. This chapter maintains that there is no satisfactory analysis of causation in non- causal terms in the huge philosophical literature on the topic. It concludes that. Criteria for the Existence of Causal Connection in Law .. Hart, H.L.A., and Tony Honoré, Causation in the Law, 2nd ed., Oxford: Clarendon.

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Those who reject the NESS theory either assert that singular causal judgments do not depend on generalisations or point to the fact that reliable generalisations of the sort presupposed by it are in practice virtually confined to inorganic physical processes. It also yields vausation idea of a causal process. Ohio State University Press, In that case the limits set by causal and cauxation criteria coincide. They argue that an agency must be a substantial factor in the harmful outcome in order to be legally a cause of it.

University Press Scholarship Online. For example, all systems of law hold that a person can be guilty of homicide only if he or she has caused another’s death. Inducing Wrongful Acts, Occasioning Harm.

Haskell Fain, Hart and Honoré on causation in the law – PhilPapers

Science Logic and Mathematics. At least on the basis of information available at the time, the probability of being killed in an air crash was not substantially increased by the delay. In particular, the greater the weight attached to considerations of risk distribution the more likely it is that different limits will be appropriate in, for example, criminal, civil and public law. They argue that in order to test whether an outcome would have occurred in the absence of the agency in question it is necessary to make a counterfactual calculation, which can only be done on the basis of such generalisations.

Moreover considerations of morality must not rule out liability, as they well might if, for example, a burglar were to claim compensation for an injury suffered while breaking a window in order to enter the victim’s house. However, even here, requirements of proof may lead to a divergence, for example, between what would medically be treated as the cause of a disease and what counts in law as its cause.


In law the main grounds of responsibility for harm are therefore i an agent’s personal responsibility for causing harm and ii a person’s responsibility arising from the fact that he, she or it bears the risk of having to answer in legal proceedings for the harm in question.

Reason in Action John Finnis.

Historians and moralists, for example, assess the responsibility of agents for the outcomes, political, social, economic or military of what they did or failed to do. In the context of application the notion of cause is a multi-purpose tool.

Others treat some of the suggested limiting factors as causal and others as non-causal. Certain theorists reject causal minimalism, which involves a restricted notion of cause that is current in no extra-legal context. Their tye presents not a question of fact, not even of what is socially regarded as a fact Lucy tge, but a decision, often controversial, to impose or restrict liability.

Instead of asking whether the mistaken treatment was so abnormal as not to be accounted a hoonre of the motorist’s negligent driving it would, in the critics’ eyes, be better to ask whether the risk of medical mistreatment should be borne exclusively by the hospital authorities. Moore propose a general theory of causation in relation to responsibility.

Request removal from index. The attribution of responsibility on causal grounds is not confined to law.

IX Foreseeability and Risk. In these instances the ground of responsibility is, from the point of view of the person held responsible, not that he, she or it has caused harm but that they bear the risk that some other person, animal, hoore or process may cause harm. Other Internet Resources Fumerton, R. Social Dynamics Brian Skyrms.

Causation in the Law

This chapter maintains that there is no satisfactory analysis of nart in non-causal terms in the huge philosophical literature on the topic. But whichever is favoured has to be applied in the light the law’s commitment to vindicating rights and securing a fair distribution of risks.

Even when applied to a specific situation this involves considering what generally happens when certain conditions are present.

It is indeed not open to dispute that at least two non-causal factors limit the extent of legal responsibility. Perspectives on Causation Hart Publishing, forthcoming hobore Search my Subject Specializations: Thus, in some contexts only physical, not economic or psychological harm grounds a legal remedy. Responsibility is excluded in relation to an outcome the probability of which was not substantially increased by the agency in question. An action honors this sort has been described as voluntary in a broad, Aristotelian sense, a use that has attracted criticism.


Classical, Early, and Medieval World History: In the third, attributive, context the aim is honoe selective, but from a different point of view. Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. The events in issue must be identified from the point of view of the time, place and persons involved, but the aspect of the events between which a causal link must be shown has to be specified in such a way as to show that it falls within the relevant legal categories, such as in the example given above negligence and physical injury.

III Causation and Responsibility. Hart hte – Philosophy 37 The idea that responsibility is excluded when the harm in question was caueation by a later intervention is conventionally expressed by saying that an intervening or superseding cause broke the lad link between agency and causaation.

In all these instances the use of the notion of cause is central to the legal inquiry, since to establish responsibility it must be shown that the harm was done or brought about by the agency that the law treats as a potential basis for the existence or extent of liability.

Judith Jarvis Thomson Publisher: The theory also draws on Mackie’s idea, in the context of causal generalisations, of an INUS condition insufficient but non-redundant part of an unnecessary but sufficient condition.

Causation in the Law – H. L. A. Hart; Tony Honoré – Oxford University Press

Find it on Scholar. Unlike lawyers, they are concerned with responsibility for good as well as bad outcomes. Another Posner would be to place responsibility, especially in civil law, on the person best placed to avoid the loss most cheaply. Secondly, a theory is required of how causal notions should fhe in different contexts.

Hart and Honore on Causation and Responsibility.