Michael Moore and the Mysteries of Causation in the Law

Larry Alexander

University of San Diego School of Law

September 8, 2011

Rutgers Law Journal, Forthcoming
San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 11-063

Michael Moore believes that causation of harm is central to criminal desert, and he believes that whether or not a criminal defendant has caused a harm is a metaphysical question rather than a matter of policy. I do not believe in the materiality of causation to criminal desert, but in this article I assume that causation is material and asked whether Moore has satisfactorily resolved the stock vexing questions by recourse to metaphysics. I conclude that he has not, and his scalar notion of causation, and his substitution of counterfactual dependence for causation in cases of omissions and prevention, produces counterintuitive results.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 19

Keywords: causation, counterfactual dependence, scalar

JEL Classification: K10

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Date posted: September 9, 2011  

Suggested Citation

Alexander, Larry, Michael Moore and the Mysteries of Causation in the Law (September 8, 2011). Rutgers Law Journal, Forthcoming; San Diego Legal Studies Paper No. 11-063. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1924437

Contact Information

Lawrence Alexander (Contact Author)
University of San Diego School of Law ( email )
5998 Alcala Park
San Diego, CA 92110-2492
United States
619-260-2317 (Phone)
619-260-4728 (Fax)
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