proximate cause

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proximate cause

The primary or moving cause of an injury.

References in classic literature ?
So again characters which formerly were useful, or which formerly had arisen from correlation of growth, or from other unknown cause, may reappear from the law of reversion, though now of no direct use.
If we look at the sting of the bee, as having originally existed in a remote progenitor as a boring and serrated instrument, like that in so many members of the same great order, and which has been modified but not perfected for its present purpose, with the poison originally adapted to cause galls subsequently intensified, we can perhaps understand how it is that the use of the sting should so often cause the insect's own death: for if on the whole the power of stinging be useful to the community, it will fulfil all the requirements of natural selection, though it may cause the death of some few members.
In the second place, we may sometimes attribute importance to characters which are really of very little importance, and which have originated from quite secondary causes, independently of natural selection.
Can we consider the sting of the wasp or of the bee as perfect, which, when used against many attacking animals, cannot be withdrawn, owing to the backward serratures, and so inevitably causes the death of the insect by tearing out its viscera?
The satisfaction her husband expressed in the departure of Jenny, appeared now to be only dissembled; again, in the same instant, to be real; but yet to confirm her jealousy, proceeding from satiety, and a hundred other bad causes.
Although the prime cause of this desire is a false judgment as to your previous unconscious desire, yet the new conscious desire has its own derivative genuineness, and may influence your actions to the extent of sending you round the world.
A mental occurrence of any kind--sensation, image, belief, or emotion--may be a cause of a series of actions, continuing, unless interrupted, until some more or less definite state of affairs is realized.
This view may seem at first exaggerated, but the more our so-called volitions and their causes are examined, the more it is forced upon us.
If our theory of desire is correct, a belief as to its purpose may very well be erroneous, since only experience can show what causes a discomfort to cease.
So far, therefore, as either designed or accidental violations of treaties and the laws of nations afford JUST causes of war, they are less to be apprehended under one general government than under several lesser ones, and in that respect the former most favors the SAFETY of the people.
As to those just causes of war which proceed from direct and unlawful violence, it appears equally clear to me that one good national government affords vastly more security against dangers of that sort than can be derived from any other quarter.
The neighborhood of Spanish and British territories, bordering on some States and not on others, naturally confines the causes of quarrel more immediately to the borderers.