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 venerable Yankee says, "I hold myself (and any learned casuist of the Church would hold me) as free to disclose all the particulars of what you term your confession, as if they had come to my knowledge in a secular way" (4:360).
What he wrote about the casuists might be applied to those responsible for the content of The Federal Register: "That frivolous accuracy which they attempted to introduce into subjects which do not admit of it, almost necessarily betrayed them into those dangerous errors [such as chicaning with our consciences and evading the most essential articles of our duty], and at the same time rendered their works dry and disagreeable" (TMS, 339-40).
Ultimately, the casuist, humanist advice literature that Lipsius takes in a distinctively aphoristic direction via its Cento form needs to be situated in the context of the political predicament that sixteenth-century policy makers and their state casuists confronted, and the manner in which they deliberated upon their policy options.
The fearful Jesuit morality, explained (and practised) by its casuists, with its mental restrictions and its subtleties, its equivocations and its condescensions, seeped in everywhere, like a slow poison; it disrupted society morally, it broke up the spirit of the family, it corrupted the conscience with constant swings in the notion of duty, and destroyed the character by deceiving and weakening it.
Casuists, represented most prominently by Albert Jonson and Stephen Toulmin, (2) suggested that ethical decision making was best done by attempting to relate particular ethical dilemmas and situations to paradigm cases (the name "casuistry" refers to "cases") and then adapting the paradigm case to the particular case as a way of making an ethical decision.
While other casuists seconded Woolton's effort to privilege the panoptic power of conscience over that of society, Spenser seems to have understood the accidental implication of such comparisons: that a watchful community might serve almost as well in its place.
These models of prudent discrimination demonstrate the ethical difficulties that casuists confront.
We have now to cope with a deliberate regression towards barbaric terrorism by our opponents," explains the Defence Secretary, echoing the casuists of the Justice Department.
argue that Shakespeare is intent upon uniformly representing Vincentio, Isabella, Angelo, even Escalus, as casuists in the pejorative sense.
Crosignani examines in a detailed yet concise manner how casuists proposed the liceity of a third option.
A medley of kindred, that't would puzzle a convocation of casuists to resolve their degrees of consanguinity.