Philosophical Preliminaries

H. L. A. Hart

in Causation in the Law

Second edition

Published in print May 1985 | ISBN: 9780198254744
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681523 | DOI:
Philosophical Preliminaries

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This chapter attempts to show why the past philosophical discussions of causation have seemed so irrelevant to the lawyer. The lawyer and the historian are both primarily concerned to make causal statements about particulars, to establish that on some particular occasion some particular occurrence was the effect or consequence of some other particular occurrence. Since Hume, European philosophy has been dominated by the doctrine that the generalization or laws which it is the prime business of the experimental sciences to discover, constitute the very essence of the notion of causation. Meanwhile, the general account of causation which emerges from Mill's doctrine, as distinguished by emphasis on four points, is also examined in this chapter.

Keywords: causation; European philosophy; Hume; Mill; historian; lawyer

Chapter.  7868 words. 

Subjects: Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law

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