Where early generations of Babylonian Amoraim employed a system of strict liability in deciding civil cases, sages of the third generation began to employ subjective considerations, but in an inconsistent manner. It was not until the fourth generation that a clear emphasis on fault and intention emerged, seen most prominently in a number of Rava’s rulings, which constitute a significant development in rabbinic law. A number of Rava’s rulings require intention as a necessary condition for establishing liability for both civil and ritual violations. In tort law Rava carved out a distinction between damages resulting from negligence and those caused by intentional actions, assigning corresponding degrees of liability. Within the realm of religious law he exempted certain offenses in which a person acts from physical or emotional drives and not a desire to transgress a commandment.
Shana Strauch Schick, “Reading Aristotle in Mahoza?: Actions and Intentions in Rava’ Jurisprudence”, in Jewish Law and its Interaction with Other Legal Systems, ed. Christine Hayes and Amos Israel-Vleeschhouwer (Liverpool, UK: Deborah Charles Publications, 2014), 262-263.