Word of the Day

Friday, July 30, 2010

casuistry

\KAZH-oo-uh-stree\ , noun;
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.
Quotes:
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
Origin:
Casuistry comes from the French casuiste and the Latin casus, "case," perhaps related to making a case or justifying behavior.
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