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casuistry

[kazh-oo-uh-stree]
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noun, plural cas·u·ist·ries.
  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

First recorded in 1715–25; casuist + -ry
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for casuistry

casuistry

noun plural -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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