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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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Philosophical Preliminaries

Philosophical Preliminaries

(p.9) I Philosophical Preliminaries
Causation in the Law

H. L. A. Hart

Oxford University Press

This chapter attempts to show why the past philosophical discussions of causation have seemed so irrelevant to the lawyer. The lawyer and the historian are both primarily concerned to make causal statements about particulars, to establish that on some particular occasion some particular occurrence was the effect or consequence of some other particular occurrence. Since Hume, European philosophy has been dominated by the doctrine that the generalization or laws which it is the prime business of the experimental sciences to discover, constitute the very essence of the notion of causation. Meanwhile, the general account of causation which emerges from Mill's doctrine, as distinguished by emphasis on four points, is also examined in this chapter.

Keywords:   causation, European philosophy, Hume, Mill, historian, lawyer

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