Causality and Imputation

Hans Kelsen

in General Theory of Norms

Published in print March 1991 | ISBN: 9780198252177
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681363 | DOI:
Causality and Imputation

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Causality and imputation are two different kinds of functional connection, two different ways in which two states of affairs can be connected together as condition and consequence. The difference between the two is this: imputation (i.e. the relation between a certain behaviour as condition and a sanction as consequence, described by a moral or legal law) is produced by an act of will whose meaning is a norm, while causality (i.e. the relation between cause and effect described by a natural law) is independent of any such intervention. Another difference is that every concrete cause has to be considered as the effect of some other cause, and every concrete effect as the cause of some other effect, and so — by the very nature of causality — the chain of cause and effect is endless in both directions. In the case of imputation, the situation is completely different.

Keywords: causality; imputation; functional connection; cause and effect; natural law; behaviour

Chapter.  758 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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