casuistry

[kazh-oo-uh-stree]
noun, plural casuistries.
1.
specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, especially in questions of morality; fallacious or dishonest application of general principles; sophistry.
2.
the application of general ethical principles to particular cases of conscience or conduct.

Origin:
1715–25; casuist + -ry

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World English Dictionary
casuistry (ˈkæzjʊɪstrɪ)
 
n , pl -ries
1.  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
2.  reasoning that is specious, misleading, or oversubtle

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

casuistry
1725, from casuist (q.v.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Alas, nothing in this barrel of casuistry holds water.
Casuistry takes a relentlessly practical approach to morality.
Critics of casuistry focus on its specious argumentation as intentionally misleading.
They argue that the abuse of casuistry is the problem, not casuistry itself.
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