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Causation and ResponsibilityAn Essay in Law, Morals, and Metaphysics$
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Michael S. Moore

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199256860

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256860.001.0001

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Causation and Moral Blameworthiness

Causation and Moral Blameworthiness

Chapter:
(p.20) 2 Causation and Moral Blameworthiness
Source:
Causation and Responsibility
Author(s):

Michael S. Moore (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199256860.003.0002

This chapter leaves the law for the morality underlying it. The question is whether tort and criminal law should be as focused on causation as they are. This issue is usually framed as being an issue of ‘moral luck’, or more specifically, ‘result luck’. The common argument is that one has no control over the results of one's conduct, unlike the control one has over one's choices, so that if responsibility is assigned for the results of one's conduct, then there must be a kind of moral luck involved in determining the degree of our blameworthiness. Nonetheless, the thesis of the chapter is that there is such moral luck, that moral blame does depend on whether one caused the harm one intended, foresaw, or risked, and that therefore legal doctrines depending on such degrees of moral blameworthiness rightly take causation into account in framing their liability rules.

Keywords:   moral luck, result luck, control, morality, causation

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