casuistry

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casuistry

(kăzh`yo͞oĭstrē) [Lat., casus=case], art of applying general moral law to particular cases. Although most often associated with theology (it has been utilized since the inception of Christianity), it is also used in law and psychology. The function of casuistry is to analyze motives so individual judgments can be made in accordance with an established moral code. The term is often used in a pejorative sense to indicate specious or equivocal reasoning.

casuistry

Philosophy the resolution of particular moral dilemmas, esp those arising from conflicting general moral rules, by careful distinction of the cases to which these rules apply
References in periodicals archive ?
The casuist model of moral philosophy assumes, of course, the existence of some manner of "moral community.
Eventually the casuist, by entertaining a variety of circumstances, exposes the morally defining ones that make a new case morally different from the original one.
The traditional casuists, however, were not situationists, because they operated within the guidance of general moral maxims and the generalized patterns of value determined by paradigmatic cases.
Since we live in a pluralistic and fractured society, we should expect that our casuists will be guided by many conflicting theoretical persuasions and notions of the good.
It is interesting, for example, that the well-known casuist William Perkins, in his Epieikeia, or a Treatise of Christian Equity and Moderation (1604) should scarcely mention conscience, but conceive equity almost exclusively in terms of the second of Lord Ellesmere's categories: "The matter whereabout this public equity is conversant is the right and convenient, and the moderate and discreet execution of the laws of men.
32) The playwright's sympathetic portrayal of the countess as a woman who insists upon a sacramental interpretation of her vows while her chastity is under siege appears intended as a casuist argument to create empathy in Elizabeth for noblemen's wives who sought to maintain their observance of the Old Faith.
Although he later disagreed with some of its approaches and conclusions, he learned in his early theological training the skills of a good casuist.
Attempts to plumb the significance of the clause "in principle" in John Paul's allocution, which is essential for practicing ethics in a Catholic healthcare setting, appear as overly rigorous hairsplitting at best, and at worst as casuist sophistry for those seeking to establish a clear identity.
In insisting that this moral object must not be understood as "a process or an event of the merely physical order," John Paul's primary target was revisionist theory, which inherited what might be called "a physical understanding of the moral object" from the post-Tridentine casuist tradition.
Poliglotta Vaticana, 1962; 106-156), will enable historians to track the widely-circulated views of this leading casuist and ecclesiastical judge.
True to the casuist method (which he briefly describes in an appendix), he investigates each case from as many angles as feasible and suggests responses that might have been justified.
In an inverse way, it also lies behind much of the logic of the casuist tradition in its attempts to minimize the final attribution of personal responsibility for a particular moral fault.