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Causation in the Law$
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H. L. A. Hart and Tony Honoré

Print publication date: 1985

Print ISBN-13: 9780198254744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198254744.001.0001

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The Generalizing Theories: Adequate Cause

The Generalizing Theories: Adequate Cause

(p.465) XVII The Generalizing Theories: Adequate Cause
Causation in the Law

H. L. A. Hart

Oxford University Press

As their name suggests, the generalizing theories insist that, if a particular act or event is a cause of something, its status as a cause is derived from the fact that it is of a kind believed to be generally connected with an event of some other kind. The generalizing theories differ from the individualizing theories in that, though they also concentrate on the selection of one from among a set of conditions of an event as its cause, they select a particular condition as the cause of an event because it is of a kind which is connected with such events by a generalization or statement of regular sequence. The first section describes the rise of the adequate cause theory. The second section discusses the detailed application of the adequacy theory. The last section discusses the limitation of responsibility by reference to common-sense causal principles.

Keywords:   adequate cause, probable cause, adequacy theory, common sense, responsibility, causal principles, generalizing theories

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