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Causation in Law, Philosophy and Science
13 May
13. May 2019
Kolloquium "Philosophie und Wissenschaftsreflexion"

Causation in Law, Philosophy and Science

The meaning of causation, its existence in our real world, and its dependence on the existence of causal laws, continue to be debated in law, philosophy and science. There has very often been a failure to distinguish causation in its pure, empirical, natural-law sense from attributions of moral and legal responsibility and related commonsense attributions of causation. There has also been a general tendency to treat identification of singular instances of causation as being limited to situations in which the consequence would not have occurred in the absence of the alleged cause, with a related unfortunate diversion in philosophy to Lewisian "possible worlds" analyses. Recently, legal academics and philosophers have developed a broader conception of causation in singular instances, generally referenced as the "NESS account", which is based on but extends J.S. Mill's seminal analysis in his System of Logic and treats as a cause any condition with contributes to the complete instantiation of a set of relevant causal laws in the specific situation. This account depends on the actual existence of causal laws, which has been challenged based on modern developments in science that focus on alleged probabilistic rather than deterministic relations. I argue that, whether the basic causal relations are probabilistic or deterministic, causal laws nevertheless exist and are necessary to make sense of our world and lives.


Prof. Dr. Richard R. Wright


Institut für Philosophie

Prof. Dr. Feest und Prof. Dr. Frisch


13. May 2019
18:15 o'clock - 20:00 o'clock


Institut für Philosophie
Building: 1146
Room: B313
Im Moore (Hinterhaus) 21
30167 Hannover
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