- an oversubtle or disingenuous reasoner, especially in questions of morality.
- a person who studies and resolves moral problems of judgment or conduct arising in specific situations.
Origin of casuist
Examples from the Web for casuist
The names of two jesuits, the former a famous preacher, and the other as famous a casuist.Ebrietatis Encomium
Henry, however, was a casuist concerned exclusively with his own case.Henry VIII.
A. F. Pollard
In all that comes between, every man must be his own casuist.A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume I (of II)
Augustus De Morgan
The best source, at least for Europeans, is still the casuist writings.The Natural Philosophy of Love
Remy de Gourmont
"Pooh, she didn't—she only nodded—nodding isn't a lie," a casuist scoffed.The Story of Louie
- a person, esp a theologian, who attempts to resolve moral dilemmas by the application of general rules and the careful distinction of special cases
- a person who is oversubtle in his or her analysis of fine distinctions; sophist
Word Origin and History for casuist
c.1600, "one who studies and resolves cases of conscience," from French casuiste (17c.) or Spanish casuista (the French word also might be from Spanish), Italian casista, all from Latin casus (see case (n.1)) in its Medieval Latin sense "case of conscience." Often since 17c. in a sinister or contemptuous sense. Related: Casuistic; casuistical; casuistically; casuistry.
Casuistry ... destroys, by distinctions and exceptions, all morality, and effaces the essential difference between right and wrong. [Bolingbroke, 1736]