106) The counsellor, in this context, performs the office of a state casuist
in order to direct policy towards the common good.
employed a host of metaphors to emphasize the conscience's efficient blend of panoptic and punitive control: "witness," "watcher," "recorder," "spy," "accuser," "Judge," "marshal," "hangman," and so forth.
, he reasons, can't be wrong on this particular subject.
then seeks out relevant longstanding cultural maxims.
The good casuist
perceptively analyzes the situation, recognizes what is important and what is not, judiciously sees the ramifications of the issue, accurately compares the case with similar cases and carefully crafts a solution.
In insisting that this moral object must not be understood as "a process or an event of the merely physical order," John Paul's primary target was revisionist theory, which inherited what might be called "a physical understanding of the moral object" from the post-Tridentine casuist
True to the casuist
method (which he briefly describes in an appendix), he investigates each case from as many angles as feasible and suggests responses that might have been justified.
Attempts to plumb the significance of the clause "in principle" in John Paul's allocution, which is essential for practicing ethics in a Catholic healthcare setting, appear as overly rigorous hairsplitting at best, and at worst as casuist
sophistry for those seeking to establish a clear identity.
In an inverse way, it also lies behind much of the logic of the casuist
tradition in its attempts to minimize the final attribution of personal responsibility for a particular moral fault.
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.
The method McCormick exemplified so superbly in the "Notes" is that of a casuist
who examines a particular case, discerns the significant aspects, compares and contrasts them to other approaches, and proposes his own solution.
Although she does not use the term, Kamm is certainly a moral casuist
, one whose point of departure in ethical reflection is considered responses to particular cases.