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25 Harv. L. Rev. 303 (1911-1912)
Legal Cause in Actions of Tort

handle is hein.journals/hlr25 and id is 331 raw text is: HARVARD
LAW REVIEW.
VOL. XXV.               FEBRUARY, 1912.                        No. 4.
LEGAL CAUSE IN ACTIONS OF TORT.
[Concluded.]
IT remains to consider another argument in favor of the alleged
Irule of non-liability for improbable consequences, and one which
has had great influence.
It is said ' that, even if the rule, that,probability is the legal
test of the existence of causal relation, is open to serious objection,
it is nevertheless the only practicable working test. The law must
adopt some test; and this is asserted to be less objectionable than
any other which has been, or can be, suggested.2    And here it will
be urged that our argument against the alleged rule is an instance
of petitio principii. We have been assuming that the alleged rule,
if applicable for any purpose, can be so only as an arbitrary rule
restricting, or preventing, liability in cases where it has already been
found that the causal relation does, as matter of fact, exist. But it
will be said that this assumption begs the question. It will be con-
tended that the alleged rule is to be applied as an absolute legal test
in solving the primary inquiry whether the causal relation does or
does not exist.3 If a certain result would antecedently have been
improbable, then it will be said that it must be conclusively
I See third position, ante, 25 HARv. L. REv. 248.
2 ,,... the only test left to resort to, a test which, though approved neither by
logic nor justice, is yet better than none, better than to admit a limitless liability for
all consequences of acts . . . See Terry, Leading Principles of Anglo-American
Law, § 410, where this language is used in reference to a somewhat different topic.
' See Watson, Damages for Personal Injuries, § 142.

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