Wednesday, October 5, 2011
Larry Alexander (University of San Diego School of Law) has posted Michael Moore and the Mysteries of Causation in the Law (Rutgers Law Journal, Forthcoming) on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
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.