from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition
- n. Specious or excessively subtle reasoning intended to rationalize or mislead.
- n. The determination of right and wrong in questions of conduct or conscience by analyzing cases that illustrate general ethical rules.
This casuistry is too much for Cromwell, who loses his composure for the first and only time:
And this is what we mean by casuistry, which is the application of a moral principle to the _cases_ arising in human life.
This kind of casuistry is very common and very demoralizing; but it shows how rigid the law is.
Senators Cornyn and Reid should both just sit down, cool off, and allow the plain meanings of law, unstrained by the casuistry of lawyers or by the pulls of partisanship to provide guidance in these two cases.
Where there is a will, there may in fact be a way — one that certainly defies the spirit of the founders, though some ample amount of casuistry and sophistry may well find a way to obfuscate or subvert the checks and balances in the Constitution.
Many politicians, with their inclination to pander and evade, get away with mixed messages, a lesser form of casuistry, because we have come to tolerate their ambiguity.
The word 'casuistry' comes from 'casuist', and ultimately from a Latin word meaning 'case'.