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Thursday, October 25, 2018

Assigning Culpability

In his brilliant book What is History?, Professor E. H. Carr asked about ultimate causation. Take the case of a man who drinks a bit too much, gets behind the wheel of a car with defective brakes, drives it around a blind corner, and hits another man who is crossing the street to buy cigarettes. Who is the one responsible? The man who had one drink too many, the lax inspector of brakes, the local authorities who didn't straighten out a dangerous bend, or the smoker who chose to dash across the road to satisfy his bad habit?

Christopher Hitchens, Hitch 22: A Memoir, 2010

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