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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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Causation and Responsibility

Causation and Responsibility

(p.62) III Causation and Responsibility
Causation in the Law

H. L. A. Hart

Oxford University Press

The fact that there is no precise system of punishments or rewards for common sense to administer, and so there are no ‘forms of action’ or ‘pleadings’ to define precise heads of responsibility for harm, means that the principles which guide common-sense attributions of responsibility give precise answers only in relatively simple types of case. Meanwhile, the words ‘To consequences no limit can be set’ and ‘Every event which would not have happened if an earlier event had not happened is the consequence of that earlier event’ are sometimes said by lawyers to be ‘the philosophical doctrine’ of causation.

Keywords:   causation, responsibility, common sense, harm

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