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Journal of Philosophical Research

Volume 18, 1993

Kevin Gibson
Pages 83-96

Transitivity, Torts, and Kingdom Loss

Here I look at the views of Mackie about the transitivity of causal statements. Mackie suggests that we replace total transitivity with a calculation which assigns a proportional value to partial causes; this allows us to work out an overall proportion of a single event in a causal chain. I marry the philosophical discussion with a sketch of tort law by means of an unusual hypothetical. I suggest that Mackie’s proportional analysis could be have a useful practical application since current tort law regards causality as transitive and that total responsibility may be placed on the originator of connected but distinct events.