Word of the Day Archive
Friday July 30, 2010
1. Specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, esp. in questions of morality.
2. The application of general ethical principles to particular cases of conscience or conduct.
The popular objection to casuistry is similar to the popular objection to the maxim that the ends justify the means.
-- John Dewey, Experience and Nature and Human Nature
"And how will it work in infinite time? It's nothing but casuistry, casuistry. It's a way of explaining my own impotence."
-- Isaac Bashevis Singer, The Seance
Casuistry comes from the French casuiste and the Latin casus, "case," perhaps related to making a case or justifying behavior.