Casuistry

(redirected from Casuists)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Encyclopedia.

Casuistry

1. In law, the act of applying a rule or principle to a theoretical situation in order to see how it holds up.

2. In law, the act of generalizing an unusual situation in order to form a rule or principle based on it.

3. Derogatory, faulty reasoning.
References in periodicals archive ?
In a similar vein, the seventeenth-century Protestant casuist William Ames observes that the operation of conscience is tripartite, or syllogistic: "That which doth dictate or giue the proposition is called Synteresis, by the Schoolmen Synderesis.
It is interesting, for example, that the well-known casuist William Perkins, in his Epieikeia, or a Treatise of Christian Equity and Moderation (1604) should scarcely mention conscience, but conceive equity almost exclusively in terms of the second of Lord Ellesmere's categories: "The matter whereabout this public equity is conversant is the right and convenient, and the moderate and discreet execution of the laws of men.
Tierney looks at 11th-century canonists, Porter at 12th-century Scholastics, Toulmin and Jonsen at 16th-century university casuists, and Valadier at the Enlightenment.
Albert Jonsen and Stephen Toulmin, through their study The Abuse of Casuistry, have dramatically restored the credibility of casuistry by heeding the admonition of Anglican casuist, Kenneth Kirk that: "The abuse of casuistry is properly directed, not against all casuistry, but only against its abuse.
From this casuistry, casuists developed ways of accommodating new cases while upholding principles, a point that the German moral theologian Bruno Schuller has already noted.
After a century of successfully resolving cases, however, casuists articulated new material principles.
In the last few decades a remarkably diverse collection of moral philosophers--Aristotelians and Wittgensteinians, casuists and communitarians, pragmatists and feminists, Hegelians, postmodernists, and assorted others--have thought not.
No longer is the casuist one among other casuists who privately determine solutions and promulgate decisions.
The traditional casuists, however, were not situationists, because they operated within the guidance of general moral maxims and the generalized patterns of value determined by paradigmatic cases.
Since we live in a pluralistic and fractured society, we should expect that our casuists will be guided by many conflicting theoretical persuasions and notions of the good.