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Causing Harm: Criminal Law

Philip Mullock
Law and Philosophy
Vol. 7, No. 1 (Apr., 1988), pp. 67-105
Published by: Springer
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3504623
Page Count: 39
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Causing Harm: Criminal Law
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Abstract

This paper offers two related things. First, a theory of singular causal statements attributing causal responsibility for a particular harm to a particular agent based on the conjunction of a positive condition (necessitation) and a negative condition (avoidability) which captures the notions of sufficiency and necessity in intuitive ideas about agent causation better than traditional conditio sine que non based theories. Second, a theory of representation of causal issues in law. The conceptual framework is that of Game Trees and Games in Extensive Form. Causal conditions are defined set-theoretically over Game Trees; causal issues and fundamental distinctions (dependent versus independent intervening causes, foreseeability or not of harm etc.) arising in legal cases are accommodated by the device of a probability distribution over the game-tree representation of cases.

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