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specious, deceptive, or oversubtle reasoning, especially in questions of morality; fallacious or dishonest application of general principles; sophistry.
the application of general ethical principles to particular cases of conscience or conduct.
Contemporary Examples

The responses were telling in their casuistry, their amorality, their evasiveness.
The Hearing From Hell Tunku Varadarajan April 26, 2010

These questions will not be easily dodged; nor will the faithful be placated by casuistry or platitudes.
Leave the Pope Alone Tunku Varadarajan April 3, 2010

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.
Tom Burke Of “Ours”, Volume II (of II) Charles James Lever

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.
The Dodd Family Abroad, Vol. I.(of II) Charles James Lever

On this excuse I settled my point of casuistry in an instant.
Simon Dale Anthony Hope

noun (pl) -ries
(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
reasoning that is specious, misleading, or oversubtle


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