The Concept of Causation in the Law

Kahmen & Stepanians (Eds.), Critical Essays on “Causation and Responsibility”, 2013, p. 67-109

43 Pages Posted: 9 Mar 2016

See all articles by Ingeborg Puppe

Ingeborg Puppe

University of Bonn - Department of Law

Date Written: March 9, 2016

Abstract

It is a defense of the so called regularity thesis and the deductive-nomological model of causal explanation as the base of natural causation against objections brought forward recently by advocates of a singularity theory and a counterfactual theory of causation in philosophy and law, most of which are not new. Without regularities, it makes no sense to speak about necessary or sufficient conditions of any event. The logical correct determination of the relationship between a singular cause and its result is the so called NESS account, necessary element of a sufficient set. The counterfactual theory of causation and the so called but for-rule are logically wrong because they demand too much and fail in cases of pre-empted causes and double causation. Pre-empted causes are to be excluded by investigating the causal chain which is at some spot interrupted by the pre-empting cause. In law, we have to accept negative facts as causes in order to deal with omissions and cases of hindrance of rescuing events.

Keywords: counterfactual theory of causation, new singularism, regularity thesis, NESS account, exclusion of pre-empted causes, negative facts as causes

Suggested Citation

Puppe, Ingeborg, The Concept of Causation in the Law (March 9, 2016). Kahmen & Stepanians (Eds.), Critical Essays on “Causation and Responsibility”, 2013, p. 67-109, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2744701

Ingeborg Puppe (Contact Author)

University of Bonn - Department of Law ( email )

Regina-Pacis-Weg 3
Postfach 2220
Bonn, D-53012
Germany

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