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Published 2011 | Published
Journal Article Open

The Metaphysical Bases of Liability: Commentary on Michael Moore's "Causation and Responsibility"


[Introduction] Let me begin by saying how much I enjoyed Professor Michael Moore's thick, rich, and learned book. I learned a great deal from reading it, and recommend it to anyone with an interest in any of the three topics it covers: moral responsibility, legal liability, and the metaphysics of causation. It covers such a wide breadth of terrain that even the most expert readers will learn a great deal from it. It is also very clearly and engagingly written. While it is possible to break the book roughly into sections corresponding to the three problem areas of ethics, legal theory, and metaphysics, the real strength of the book lies in the interaction between these different topics. As a philosopher interested in the metaphysics of causation, I will focus my discussion on the last section of the book, but a discussion of the metaphysics that is divorced from the applications to ethics or legal theory would be impossible.

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© 2011 Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. Thanks to Michael Moore and Carolina Sartorio for comments on an earlier draft. Thanks also to participants in the symposium on Causation and Responsibility at Rutgers University School of Law – Camden.

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