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.
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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
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
However, this probabilist moral context, its relationship to an evolving climate of skepticism and doubt, and the relevance of casuist treatises as 'carriers of political thought in the early modern period' has been either neglected or discounted.
This subsequent post-Tridentine casuist tradition--named for its focus on particular moral cases--typically relies upon a distinction between the finis operis and the finis operantis, (21) which as Servais Pinckaers and others have argued is really not operative in the work of Thomas himself.
Tierney looks at 11th-century canonists, Porter at 12th-century Scholastics, Toulmin and Jonsen at 16th-century university casuists, and Valadier at the Enlightenment.
From this casuistry, casuists developed ways of accommodating new cases while upholding principles, a point that the German moral theologian Bruno Schuller has already noted.(17)
There are a number of features to the model of casuistry that Jonsen and Toulmin attempt to revitalize as an alternative to modern, theory-based ethics, each generating an array of suggestions regarding how a casuist ethics committee might be formed and directed.
Besides making changes in the method of casuistry and the role of the casuist, we are also departing from the content of manualism.
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.(46)
Thus, just as a street-wise lawyer must determine the best legal theory (e.g., torts or agency) on which to hang her case, so the experienced practical philosopher will know which theory to invoke in any particular context and just as the good lawyer will seek to persuade through the marshalling of all available considerations, the experienced casuist will employ a "rhetorical" rather than a narrowly deductive style of argumentation.
The theologians of the casuist period sought to identify strategies whereby Catholics could be exculpated.
As we study that pattern, we must remember that the Seven Deadly Sins are not simply items from some long-ago casuist's checklist, but rather denote a wide swath of human psychological and religious experience.
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).
turns the moral agent into a casuist." Codification, in this instance, is not a systematization of actual laws; nevertheless, the codifiers are our masters and they must be obeyed.