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casuist

[kazh-oo-ist] /ˈkæʒ u ɪst/
noun
1.
an oversubtle or disingenuous reasoner, especially in questions of morality.
2.
a person who studies and resolves moral problems of judgment or conduct arising in specific situations.
Origin
1600-1610
1600-10; < Spanish casuista < Latin cāsu(s) case1 + -ista -ist
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for casuist

casuist

/ˈkæzjʊɪst/
noun
1.
a person, esp a theologian, who attempts to resolve moral dilemmas by the application of general rules and the careful distinction of special cases
2.
a person who is oversubtle in his or her analysis of fine distinctions; sophist
Derived Forms
casuistic, casuistical, adjective
casuistically, adverb
Word Origin
C17: from French casuiste, from Spanish casuista, from Latin cāsuscase1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for casuist
casuist
1609, "one who studies and resolves cases of conscience," from Fr. casuiste, from L. casus (see case (1)). Often in a sinister or contemptuous sense. Casuistry is first attested 1725.
"Casuistry ... destroys, by distinctions and exceptions, all morality, and effaces the essential difference between right and wrong." [Bolingbroke, 1736]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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