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.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- n. The process of answering practical questions via interpretation of rules or cases that illustrate such rules, especially in ethics.
- n. A specious argument designed to defend an action or feeling.
from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English
- adj. The science or doctrine of dealing with cases of conscience, of resolving questions of right or wrong in conduct, or determining the lawfulness or unlawfulness of what a man may do by rules and principles drawn from the Scriptures, from the laws of society or the church, or from equity and natural reason; the application of general moral rules to particular cases.
- adj. Sophistical, equivocal, or false reasoning or teaching in regard to duties, obligations, and morals.
from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. In ethics, the solution of special problems of right and duty by the application of general ethical principles or theological dogmas; the answering of questions of conscience.
- n. Hence Over-subtle and dishonest reasoning; sophistry.
- n. In medicine, a recent, rare, and improper use for casuistics.
from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.
- n. moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas
- n. argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading
From casuist.(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From casuist + -ry. First recorded use in 1725. (Wiktionary)