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casuistry

[kazh-oo-uh-stree] /ˈkæʒ u ə stri/
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 of casuistry
1715-1725
1715-25; casuist + -ry
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for casuistry
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Historical Examples
  • This kind of casuistry is very common and very demoralizing; but it shows how rigid the law is.

    The Faith of Islam Edward Sell
  • And then she delivered herself of an amazing piece of casuistry.

    The Strolling Saint Raphael Sabatini
  • It is all cant, my friends—nothing but cant; and at its base lies the old dispute between principle and casuistry.

    From a Cornish Window Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch
  • "I have no leisure for casuistry, nor is it my humor, sir," replied he angrily.

  • The author deals at great length with the background to this idea, playing on popular fears to reinforce his casuistry.

    The Fight For The Republic in China Bertram Lenox Putnam Weale
  • There might be some casuistry in that, but there was truth as well.

    A Little Girl in Old Salem Amanda Minnie Douglas
  • It is not by any casuistry about the injustice I should have done, had I bestowed a moiety where I had promised a whole heart.

  • On this excuse I settled my point of casuistry in an instant.

    Simon Dale Anthony Hope
British Dictionary definitions for casuistry

casuistry

/ˈkæzjʊɪstrɪ/
noun (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 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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14
15
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