A Note on Causes of Effects
CALIFORNIA UNIV LOS ANGELES DEPT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE
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Interest in applying counterfactual logic to legal settings has resulted in disagreements regarding the proper interpretation of the legal term but for, as in It is more probable than not that the injury would not have occurred but for the defendant action Robertson, 1997. Let A 1 stands for the defendants action, R 1 for the observed response e.g., injury or damage, and R0 respectively R1 for the value that R would have had the action not taken A 0. The standard interpretation of the but for criterion is captured by the inequality PN greater or equal to 12 where PN stands for counterfactual probably PN PR0 0A 1,R 1 1 termed probability of necessity in Pearl 2000a.
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