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Casuistry   Listen
Casuistry

noun
1.
Argumentation that is specious or excessively subtle and intended to be misleading.
2.
Moral philosophy based on the application of general ethical principles to resolve moral dilemmas.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Casuistry" Quotes from Famous Books



... hand," proves that in the ancient writings there was not a word that could justify polytheism. Thundering against idol worship, the great orator fights with all his might against caste, infant marriages, and superstitions. Chastising all the evils grafted on India by centuries of casuistry and false interpretation of the Vedas, he blames for them the Brahmans, who, as he openly says before masses of people, are alone guilty of the humiliation of their country, once great and independent, now fallen and enslaved. And yet Great Britain has in him not an enemy, but rather ...
— From the Caves and Jungles of Hindostan • Helena Pretrovna Blavatsky

... received yesterday your answer, dated March 10. My offer was an honest one, and surely could only be construed as such even by the most malignant casuistry. I could answer you, but it is too late, and it is not worth while. To the mysterious menace of the last sentence, whatever its import may be—and I cannot pretend to unriddle it—I could hardly be very sensible even if I understood it, as, before ...
— Lady Byron Vindicated • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... Cyprian re-baptizes heretics; St. Stephen accepts their baptism. The early ages administer, the later deny, the Holy Eucharist to children.[22] Who shall say that in such practical matters, and especially in points of casuistry, points of the when, and the where, and the by whom, and the how, words written in the fourth century are to be the rule ...
— Prose Masterpieces from Modern Essayists • James Anthony Froude, Edward A. Freeman, William Ewart Gladstone, John Henry Newman and Leslie Steph

... mentioned. But it is true that a powerful memory may enable a man to save himself the trouble of reasoning. It encourages the indolent propensity of deciding difficulties by precedent instead of principles. Macaulay, for example, was once required to argue the point of political casuistry as to the degree of independent action permissible to members of a Cabinet. An ordinary mind would have to answer by striking a rough balance between the conveniences and inconveniences likely to arise. It would be forced, that is to say, to reason from the nature of the case. But Macaulay had ...
— Hours in a Library - New Edition, with Additions. Vol. II (of 3) • Leslie Stephen

... sir simply without the epithet good, which implies something of familiarity. Polonius, in his superstitious respect for ranks and degrees, provides four forms of address applying to four separate cases: such is the ponderous casuistry which the solemn courtier brings to bear upon the ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey, Vol. 2 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... and purifications. Read Mark 7:1-23. Jesus was so indifferent about the religious ablutions that he was brought to book for it by the pious. He replied that these regulations were not part of the divine law, but later accretions the product of theological casuistry, and that they tended to obscure the real divine duties. He cited a flagrant case. By eternal and divine law a man owes love and support to his parents. But the scribes held that if a man vowed to give money to ...
— The Social Principles of Jesus • Walter Rauschenbusch

... had been Dr Lushington or Lord Westbury, to inquire into the real force of the phrase. For after all, it is not only when signing the Articles that the bond and pledge of subscription means more than is intended. When Mr Wentworth was able to tear himself from the agreeable casuistry of this self-discussion, he got up in much better spirits to go about his daily business. First of all, he had to see his father, and ascertain what were the Squire's intentions, and how long he meant to stay in Carlingford; ...
— The Perpetual Curate • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... pages sincerely inspired we discover that their inspiration has very little to do with India and a great deal to do with Mr Kipling's impulse to celebrate the work of the world, and even more to do with his impulse to escape the intellectual casuistry of his generation in a region where life is simple and intense. These aspects of his work will be more clearly revealed at a later stage. For the moment we are considering the Indian tales simply as tales ...
— Rudyard Kipling • John Palmer

... endeavored at much length to establish rules for the complicated problems of delectation that thus arose, but he was constrained to admit that no rules are really possible, and that such matters must be left to the judgment of a prudent man. At that point casuistry dissolves and the modern point of view emerges (see, e.g., Lea, History of Auricular Confession, vol. ii, pp. ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 6 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... to write of all the wearisome weeks which were wasted thus, whilst this assembly sat; and the Maid—all alone in her innocence, her purity, her sweetness, and gentle reverence—stood before them, day after day, to answer subtle questions, face a casuistry which sought to entrap her into contradiction or confusion, or to wring from her a confession that she was no heaven-sent messenger, but was led away by her own imaginations ...
— A Heroine of France • Evelyn Everett-Green

... themselves with surrendering to the enemy those who had concluded it as personally responsible for its fulfilment. Impartial history can attach little importance to the question whether in so doing the casuistry of Roman advocates and priests kept the letter of the law, or whether the decree of the Roman senate violated it; under a human and political point of view no blame in this matter rests upon the Romans. It was a question of comparative indifference whether, ...
— The History of Rome (Volumes 1-5) • Theodor Mommsen

... neighbours. Their kinship is visible in the fop. The subtile is derived from the sensual. Gluttony affects delicacy, a grimace of disgust conceals cupidity. And then woman feels her weak point guarded by all that casuistry of gallantry which takes the place of scruples in prudes. It is a line of circumvallation with a ditch. Every prude puts on an air of repugnance. It is a protection. She will consent, but ...
— The Man Who Laughs • Victor Hugo

... knew that Oliver would think that she ought to be depressed by his failure, yet she could not prevent the return of a child-like confidence in the profound goodness of life. Everything would be right, everything was eternally bound to be right from the beginning. That inherited casuistry of temperament, which had confused the pleasant with the true for generations, had become in her less a moral conviction than a fixed quality of soul. To dwell even for a minute on "the dark side of things" awoke in her the same instinct of mortal sin that she had felt at the discovery ...
— Virginia • Ellen Glasgow

... that she believed would be best for him, she forgot that the boy whom she had brought up was no longer a child, and thus she unpardonably ignored his rights as a man. And now Miss Josephine's disapproval was vindicated, and her own casuistry was doubly punished. Miss Rieppe's astute journey of investigation—for her purpose had evidently become suspected by some of them beforehand—had forced Miss Eliza to disclose the truth about the phosphates to her nephew before it should be told him by the girl ...
— Lady Baltimore • Owen Wister

... offer it for sale. Once in his possession, the thought of giving it up, or of letting the owner redeem it, had never even occurred to him. Yet the treasure made him rejoice with a trembling which all his casuistry would have found it hard to explain; for he would not confess to himself its real cause—namely, that his God-born essence was uneasy with a vague knowledge that it lay in the bosom of a thief. "Don't you think, sir," said Dawtie, "that whoever has that cup ought to ...
— The Elect Lady • George MacDonald

... creating perpetuities. This speech appears to have made a very strong impression upon his hearers. In the last months of his residence he had charge of a bill upon oaths and declarations, which suggests some curious points of casuistry. What, for example, is to be done in regard to people who believe that they will be damned if their sworn statements are inaccurate, unintentionally or otherwise, and who, inferring that damnation is tolerably certain, argue ...
— The Life of Sir James Fitzjames Stephen, Bart., K.C.S.I. - A Judge of the High Court of Justice • Sir Leslie Stephen

... held subtle casuistical debate on the legitimacy of men ostensibly, not to say ostentatiously, on foot to New York picking up chance rides in this way. The argument had gone into pursuit of very fine distinctions, and almost rivalled in its casuistry the famous old Duns Scotus—or was it Thomas Aquinas?—debate as to how many angels can dance on the point of a needle. Once we had come to a deadlock as to the kind of vehicle from which it was proper to accept such hospitality. Perhaps it ...
— October Vagabonds • Richard Le Gallienne

... intellectual delight in subtle disquisition. The doctrine of immortality as it appeals to the mind of the cultured, dissatisfied pagan Cleon; the miracle of Lazarus as it is brooded over by the Arab physician Karshish; the balancing of faith and doubt in the clever casuistry of Bishop Blougram—these are topics to Browning's taste and are treated with skill and mastery. Taken all in all these poems give to the reader a full impression of Browning's characteristic force, the darting, penetrating power of his phrase, the rush and energy and leap of his thought. ...
— Selections from the Poems and Plays of Robert Browning • Robert Browning

... to act the invalid unless the spring ran down altogether; was keen for exercise and for mixing among men—his native servants if no others were near by. Here is a bit of confession and casuistry quite a ...
— Robert Louis Stevenson - a Record, an Estimate, and a Memorial • Alexander H. Japp

... stewed in oil and seasoned with garlick, and the wine and grapes were sour. However, we had excellent beds. In my room there was a small collection of books, on a dusty shelf, which I should not have expected to find in such hands. Among them were some old works of theological casuistry, Metastasio, a translation of Voltaire's plays, and a geographical dictionary in Italian. I learnt that they had belonged to the proprietor's uncle, a medico at Padua, and were heirlooms with his property, which our host inherited. The position of these small proprietors ...
— Rambles in the Islands of Corsica and Sardinia - with Notices of their History, Antiquities, and Present Condition. • Thomas Forester

... entitled the Sic et Non, and remained unpublished in the public documents of France till recent years.(269) It is a collection of alleged contradictions, which exist on a series of topics, which range over the deepest problems of theology, and descend to the confines of casuistry in ethics.(270) In the discussion of them Abelard collects passages from the scriptures and from the fathers in favour of two distinctly opposite solutions. He has however prefixed a prologue to the work, ...
— History of Free Thought in Reference to The Christian Religion • Adam Storey Farrar

... observance of their vows, and as shamefully subtile in their artful evasion of them. The Pharisees could be easy enough to themselves when convenient, and always as hard and unrelenting as possible to all others. They quibbled, and dissolved their vows, with experienced casuistry. Jesus reproaches the Pharisees in Matthew xv. and Mark vii. for flagrantly violating the fifth commandment, by allowing the vow of a son, perhaps made in hasty anger, its full force, when he had sworn ...
— Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3) • Isaac D'Israeli

... Church to slavery, and the duties of private Christians, the whole casuistry of this portion of the question, so momentous among descendants of the Puritans,—have been discussed with great acuteness and rare common-sense by Messrs. Garrison, Goodell, Gerrit Smith, Pillsbury, and Foster. They have never attempted to judge the American Church ...
— American Eloquence, Volume II. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1896) • Various

... tweezer-cases. There broken vows and death-bed alms are found, And lovers' hearts with ends of riband bound, The courtiers promises, and sick man's prayers, The smiles of harlots, and the tears of heirs, Cages for gnats, and chains to yoke a flea, Dried butterflies and tomes of casuistry. ...
— Playful Poems • Henry Morley

... It has a gravity out of all proportion to its use, and we call it a fundamental principle of government. Whatever we want to do is hallowed and justified, if it can be made to appear as a deduction from that sentence. To put new wine in old bottles is one of the aims of legal casuistry. ...
— A Preface to Politics • Walter Lippmann

... thence partly arose the sanctity of the hospitable board; but to the east of the Mediterranean the full ritual of a sacrifice must have been preserved in all banquets, long after it had faded to a form in the less superstitious West. This we may learn from that point of casuistry treated by St. Paul,—whether a Christian might lawfully eat of things offered to idols. The question was most urgent; because a Christian could not accept an invitation to dine with a Grecian fellow-citizen ...
— Theological Essays and Other Papers v1 • Thomas de Quincey

... it was hopeless to argue against casuistry of this nature, which, if it were carried to its logical conclusion, would absolutely destroy all morality, as we understand it. But her talk gave me a fresh thrill of fear; for what may not be possible to a being who, unconstrained by human law, is also absolutely ...
— She • H. Rider Haggard

... sovereign as tyrannical, over-bearing, malignant, and treacherous. He did his best to counsel moderation and mutual toleration, for he felt that these needless theological disputes about an abstract and insoluble problem of casuistry were digging an abyss in which the Republic might be swallowed up for ever. If ever man worked steadily with the best lights of experience and inborn sagacity for the good of his country and in defence of a constitutional government, horribly defective ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... lift the helpless limbs, to divine the want that can find no utterance beyond the feeble motion of the hand or beseeching glance of the eye—these are offices that demand no self-questionings, no casuistry, no assent to propositions, no weighing of consequences. Within the four walls where the stir and glare of the world are shut out, and every voice is subdued,—where a human being lies prostrate, thrown on the tender mercies of his fellow,—the moral ...
— George Eliot; A Critical Study of Her Life, Writings & Philosophy • George Willis Cooke

... resolutely declined to buy split-cane rods, deeming high-class greenhearts sufficient for beginners, though the vicar argued that it was always wise in tuition to begin as you intend to proceed. This casuistry ...
— Lines in Pleasant Places - Being the Aftermath of an Old Angler • William Senior

... with others, behavior hangs almost entirely upon dress. Many good habits are easily got rid of in the woods. Doubt sometimes seems to be felt whether Sunday is a legal holiday there. It becomes a question of casuistry with a clergyman whether he may shoot at a mark on Sunday, if none of his congregation are present. He intends no harm: he only gratifies a curiosity to see if he can hit the mark. Where shall he draw the line? Doubtless he ...
— Baddeck and That Sort of Thing • Charles Dudley Warner

... anxious that the reader should go along with the short remainder of this story, because it bears strongly upon the true moral of our Eastern policy, of which, hereafter, we shall attempt to unfold the casuistry, in a way that will be little agreeable to the calumniators of Clive and Hastings. We do not intend that these men shall have it all their own way in times to come. Our Eastern rulers have erred always, and erred deeply, ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, Volume 54, No. 337, November, 1843 • Various

... reproach. 'We know that Thou art a Samaritan, and hast a devil,' said the Jews, to Jesus, in Jerusalem.... A Samaritan egg, as the hen laid it, could not be unclean, but what of a boiled egg? Yet interest and convenience strove, by subtle casuistry, to invent excuses for what intercourse was unavoidable. The country of the Cuthites was clean, so that a Jew might, without scruple, gather and eat its produce. The waters of Samaria were clean, so that a Jew might drink them or wash in them. Their dwellings were clean, so ...
— Jesus the Christ - A Study of the Messiah and His Mission According to Holy - Scriptures Both Ancient and Modern • James Edward Talmage

... only on the minutiae of faith,—inexplicable, because useless to explain, and argue from those minutiae against the grand and universal truth.' Pardon me again: it is the petty not the enlarged mind which prefers casuistry to conviction; it is the confined and short sight of Ignorance which, unable to comprehend the great bearings of truth, pries only into its narrow and obscure corners, occupying itself in scrutinizing the atoms of a part, while the eagle eye of Wisdom contemplates, in its widest ...
— The Disowned, Complete • Edward Bulwer-Lytton

... favorite pieces were Sirventes (satirical pieces), love-songs, and Tensons, which last were a sort of dialogue in verse between two poets, who questioned each other on some refined points of loves' casuistry. It seems the Provencials were so completely absorbed in these delicate questions as to neglect and despise the composition of fabulous histories of adventure and knighthood, which they left in a great measure to the poets of the northern part of ...
— Bulfinch's Mythology • Thomas Bulfinch

... to these supposed virtues, 'Gustus foliorum tamen virtutem tantam indicare non videtur.' Like coffee, Kat, from its acknowledged stimulating effects, has been a fertile theme for the exercise of Mahomedan casuistry, and names of renown are ranged on both sides of the question, whether the use of Kat does or does not contravene the injunction of the Koran, Thou shalt not drink wine or anything intoxicating. The succeeding notes, borrowed chiefly from De Sacy's researches, may be deemed worthy ...
— First footsteps in East Africa • Richard F. Burton

... sort of a fellow Lord Bacon was, and how he contrived to get into a mess about taking bribes, when so many other fellows had done it quietly enough before the Lord of Verulam's day, and even yet more quietly since—agreeably instigated thereto by the casuistry of Escobar. ...
— Birds of Prey • M. E. Braddon

... connections with us, or is it better for them to "accept the situation" and gradually wean themselves from us and from our affairs? It would be idle to determine this question in the abstract: it is perhaps idle to decide any question of casuistry in the abstract. But, in practice, there are constantly arising questions which really require some decision of this ...
— The Brick Moon, et. al. • Edward Everett Hale

... Observator; but his Observator, like the Observator which Lestrange had formerly edited, contained, not the news, but merely dissertations on politics. A crazy bookseller, named John Dunton, published the Athenian Mercury; but the Athenian Mercury merely discussed questions of natural philosophy, of casuistry and of gallantry. A fellow of the Royal Society, named John Houghton, published what he called a Collection for the Improvement of Industry and Trade. But his Collection contained little more than the prices of stocks, explanations of the modes of ...
— The History of England from the Accession of James II. - Volume 4 (of 5) • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... maintained by Waterland, by Whiston, by Blackburne, and by some of the more ardent Calvinists, was strong, and felt to be so. In appearance, if not in reality, there was clearly something equivocal, some appearance of casuistry and reserve, if not of insincerity, in subscribing to formularies, part of which were no longer accepted in the spirit in which they had been drawn up, and with the meaning they had been originally intended to bear. The Deistical and Arian controversies of the eighteenth century ...
— The English Church in the Eighteenth Century • Charles J. Abbey and John H. Overton

... One day the casuistry of grief brought Theophil the reflection that, as Isabel was the only woman he knew whom Jenny had known too, and that as Jenny had loved her also, she was thus destined for him even by Jenny herself. Besides, ...
— The Romance of Zion Chapel [3d ed.] • Richard Le Gallienne

... Ireland, spends his time in a never-ending argument about Oliver Cromwell, the Danes, the penal laws, the rebellion of 1798, the famine, the Irish peasant, and ends by substituting a traditional casuistry for a country; and if he be a Catholic, yet another casuistry that has professors, schoolmasters, letter-writing priests, and the authors of manuals to make the meshes fine, comes between him and English literature, substituting arguments and hesitations ...
— Synge And The Ireland Of His Time • William Butler Yeats

... there is doubtless a great difference between a good man and a bad one; the one will do what is right when he knows it, and the other will not; but in respect for the power of ascertaining what it is right to do, supposing their knowledge of casuistry to be equal, they are on a par. Goodness or the passion of humanity, or Christian love, may be a motive inducing men to keep the law, but it has no right to be called the law-making power. And what has Christianity added to our theoretic knowledge of morality? ...
— English Prose - A Series of Related Essays for the Discussion and Practice • Frederick William Roe (edit. and select.)

... vicious reasoning; show of reason.] Sophistry. — N. intuition, instinct, association, hunch, gut feeling; presentiment, premonition; rule of thumb; superstition; astrology[obs3]; faith (supposition) 514. sophistry, paralogy[obs3], perversion, casuistry, jesuitry, equivocation, evasion; chicane, chicanery; quiddet[obs3], quiddity; mystification; special pleading; speciousness &c. adj.; nonsense &c. 497; word sense, tongue sense. false reasoning, vicious reasoning, circular ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... taken refuge in casuistry and told the king that it was not for a pope to be bound to the cardinal's promises, in which contention he would have been supported by the Jesuits. However, in his heart Ganganelli had no liking for the Jesuits. He was a Franciscan, ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... not touched any of the autobiographical matter which appeared in Tait,—the Author having recast that as well as the Sketches from Childhood, published in The Instructor in the 'Autobiographic Sketches' with which he opened the Selections. The Casuistry of Duelling, indeed, appeared in Tait as part of the Autobiographic Series, but, practically, it stood as an independent paper. The touching personal passage in this article reveals the misery caused by the unbridled ...
— The Uncollected Writings of Thomas de Quincey—Vol. 1 - With a Preface and Annotations by James Hogg • Thomas de Quincey

... babble, as if innumerable gossips had all at once got wind of Zenobia's secret. But, as the breeze grew stronger, its voice among the branches was as if it said, "Hush! Hush!" and I resolved that to no mortal would I disclose what I had heard. And, though there might be room for casuistry, such, I conceive, is the most equitable rule ...
— The Blithedale Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... and had been disqualified. Those were the simple facts; and no casuistry by the cleverest of London lawyers ...
— Boy Woodburn - A Story of the Sussex Downs • Alfred Ollivant

... a thief; apples and plums and so on are quite safe, though the turnip-tops are not: there is a subtle casuistry involved here—the distinction between the quasi-wild and the garden product. He is not a poacher in the sense of entering coverts, or even snaring a rabbit. If the pheasants are so numerous and so tame that passing carters have to whip them out of the way of the horses, ...
— The Amateur Poacher • Richard Jefferies

... genuine the love which it accomplishes;' or, when Leone Leoni, steeped in passion and crime, but talented and adorned with manly beauty, exclaims to his beloved, 'As long as you hope for my amendment you have never loved my personal self.' It also appears to correspond with this casuistry of erotic fancy, when the heroes of her tragedies, of sky-storming earnestness, but adorned with all unnatural qualities, give themselves up to the latter as to an intoxicating spell, and in the delirium of self-delusion hold sin for virtue, and the unnatural for higher truth and ...
— The Love Affairs of Great Musicians, Volume 2 • Rupert Hughes

... their employer to build him a rough shelter. That whole chapter, describing the indefatigable industry with which they labour on the voluntary task, their glee in the truantry from the labour for which they are paid, their casuistry over the theft of milk for the pious purpose of keeping the poor lad alive, the odd blending of cowardice and magnanimity in their terror of the sickness and in their constant care that some one should at least be always in earshot of the boy, ready to ...
— Irish Books and Irish People • Stephen Gwynn

... taking of life is sternly forbidden in the ethical code of Buddha, and the most prominent of the obligations undertaken by the priesthood is directed to its preservation even in the instances of insects and animalculae, casuistry succeeded so far as to fix the crime on the slayer, and to exonerate the individual who merely partook of the flesh.[1] Even the inmates of the wiharas and monasteries discovered devices for the saving of conscience, and curried rice was not ...
— Ceylon; an Account of the Island Physical, Historical, and • James Emerson Tennent

... exemplar, has received the name of the Socratic irony. With this fine weapon, in great part, it was, wielded like a magician's invisible wand, that Pascal did his memorable execution on the Jesuitical system of morals and casuistry, in the "Provincial Letters." In great part, we say; for the flaming moral earnestness of the man could not abide only to play with his adversaries, to the end of the famous dispute. His lighter cimeter blade he flung aside before he had done, and, toward the last, brandished a sword that ...
— Classic French Course in English • William Cleaver Wilkinson

... magistrate whom I had already met, and who had much interested me by his wit and his close manner of observing things, and by his singularly refined casuistry, and, above all, by the contrast between his professional severity, ...
— The Works of Guy de Maupassant, Volume II (of 8) • Guy de Maupassant

... formed a literary project, of which he was far indeed from foreseeing the consequences. Periodical papers had during many years been published in London. Most of these were political; but in some of them questions of morality, taste, and love casuistry had been discussed. The literary merit of these works was small indeed; and even their names are now known ...
— Critical and Historical Essays Volume 2 • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... respectable life, Phormio should be paid off. And with this burden off his mind, for reformation was very easily promised, Lucius had time to consider whether it was worth his while to mix in a deed that none of Pratinas's casuistry could quite convince him was not a foul, unprovoked murder, of an innocent man. The truth was, Ahenobarbus was desperately in love with Cornelia, and had neither time nor desire to mingle in any business not connected with the pursuit of his "tender passion." None of his former sweethearts—and ...
— A Friend of Caesar - A Tale of the Fall of the Roman Republic. Time, 50-47 B.C. • William Stearns Davis

... clearly, had no more legal basis than all the other invasions to which Greece had submitted during the War under protest. Casuistry was merely called in to cloak the exigencies of policy: King Constantine's dethronement was decreed, not because it was lawful, but because France required it, and England, for good reasons, could not let France bring it about ...
— Greece and the Allies 1914-1922 • G. F. Abbott

... Parliamentarians. In 1657 he ministered privately to an Episcopalian congregation in London, and in 1658 accompanied Lord Conway to Ireland, and served a cure at Lisburn. Two years later he pub. Ductor Dubitantium, or the Rule of Conscience in all her General Measures, a learned and subtle piece of casuistry which he dedicated to Charles II. The Restoration brought recognition of T.'s unswerving devotion to the Royalist cause; he was made Bishop of Down and Connor, and to this was added the administration of the see of Dromore. In his new position, though, ...
— A Short Biographical Dictionary of English Literature • John W. Cousin

... ceased. He gave up his speculations and casuistry, and concluded to take things as he found them and to make them better. He became more than ever the friend and patron of his servants, rendered to them, to the best of his ability that which was just and equal, ...
— The Sable Cloud - A Southern Tale With Northern Comments (1861) • Nehemiah Adams

... comparison to the bulk of his work, that they may be neglected. Taylor's strong point was not accuracy of statement or logical precision. His longest work, the Ductor Dubitantium, an elaborate manual of casuistry, is constantly marred by the author's inability to fix on a single point, and to keep his argumentation close to that. In another, the Unum Necessarium, or Discourse on Repentance, his looseness of statement and want of care in driving several ...
— A History of English Literature - Elizabethan Literature • George Saintsbury

... itself in ten thousand little and undefinable acts of sedulous attention, which love alone can pay, and of which, when paid, love alone can estimate the value. Love outruns the deductions of reasoning; it scorns the refuge of casuistry; it requires not the slow process of laborious and undeniable proof that an action would be injurious and offensive, or another beneficial or gratifying, to the object of affection. The least hint, the slightest surmise, is ...
— A Practical View of the Prevailing Religious System of Professed Christians, in the Middle and Higher Classes in this Country, Contrasted with Real Christianity. • William Wilberforce

... personal friend and benefactor; all this, too, not on any ground of fact, but on an assumed probability that the crown will prove a sacrament of evil, and transform him into quite another man. A strange piece of casuistry indeed! but nowise unsuited to the spirit of a man who was to commit the gravest of crimes, purely from a ...
— The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Caesar • William Shakespeare

... lay so much stress on Puritanism," he said. "What has Puritanism resulted in? Its whole struggle has come to an end in doubt and agnosticism and flippancy. Intellectual curiosity has taken the place of spiritual stress; ethical casuistry or theological amusements seem to me to stand ...
— The Puritans • Arlo Bates

... "You've studied casuistry, Wilks, and I want you, as a judge of what a loyal citizen should do, to say what is our duty in regard ...
— Two Knapsacks - A Novel of Canadian Summer Life • John Campbell

... of casuistry was engaging the thoughts of the Dean of St. Neot's. Morewood had been to see him, had told without disguise the whole story of his blunder at the dinner-table at Ashwood, had referred to Alexander Quisante's serious illness, and ...
— Quisante • Anthony Hope

... the Elector stated, it was a shame to expose her; to conceal it, however, was questionable, as the Prince might complain afterwards that a straight princess had been promised, and a crooked one fraudulently substituted,—and so on, though a good deal more of such quaint casuistry, in which the Landgrave was accomplished. The amount of his answer, however, to the marriage proposal was an unequivocal negative, from which he ...
— The Rise of the Dutch Republic, 1555-1566 • John Lothrop Motley

... mutual confidence, for Davies broke down the last barriers of reserve and let me see his whole mind. He loved this girl and he loved his country, two simple passions which for the time absorbed his whole moral capacity. There was no room left for casuistry. To weigh one passion against the other, with the discordant voices of honour and expediency dinning in his ears, had too long involved him in fruitless torture. Both were right; neither could be surrendered. If the facts showed them ...
— Riddle of the Sands • Erskine Childers

... stars fade off the etherial plain; As Argus' eyes by Hermes' wand opprest, Closed one by one to everlasting rest; Thus at her felt approach and secret might, Art after Art goes out, and all is Night. See skulking Truth to her old cavern fled, Mountains of Casuistry heaped o'er her head! Philosophy that leaned on Heaven before, Shrinks to her second cause, and is no more; Physic of Metaphysic begs defence, And Metaphysic calls for aid on Sense! See Mystery to Mathematics fly! In vain! they gaze, turn giddy, rave, and die. Religion blushing veils ...
— The Age of Pope - (1700-1744) • John Dennis

... occasions—the curious absence of any ferocity, any smell of brimstone, in the air! How different from Robert's day! Then the presumption underlying all controversy was of an offended authority ranged against an apologetic rebellion. A tone of moral condemnation on the one side, a touch of casuistry on the other, confused the issues. And now—behind and around the combatants—the clash of equal hosts!—over ground strewn with dead assumptions. The conflict might be no less strenuous; nay! from a series of isolated struggles it had developed into a world-wide battle; but the bitterness ...
— The Case of Richard Meynell • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... say, are these poor Majesty's Ministers summoned over; to be questioned, tutored; nay, threatened, almost bullied! They answer what, with adroitest simulation and casuistry, they can: of which a poor Legislative knows not what to make. One thing only is clear, That Cimmerian Europe is girdling us in; that France (not actually dead, surely?) cannot march. Have a care, ye Ministers! Sharp Guadet ...
— The French Revolution • Thomas Carlyle

... troubled him may be fairly inferred from the fact that he withheld from the World for twenty years afterward the knowledge that he was their author. It is probable that in this case, as in others, he was a victim of that casuistry which teaches that "the end justifies the means;" that he hoped and believed that the assertion of these baleful doctrines would act solely as a check upon any tendency to further centralization of power in the General Government ...
— The Great Conspiracy, Complete • John Alexander Logan

... than that of a true missionary. Itried to defend the labors of the paternal missionary against disparaging criticisms. Itried to account for the small success of controversial missions, by showing how little is gained by mere argument and casuistry at home. And I pointed to the indirect missionary influence, exercised by every man who leads a Christian life in India or elsewhere, as the most encouraging sign of the final triumph of a pure and living Christianity. ...
— Chips from a German Workshop - Volume IV - Essays chiefly on the Science of Language • Max Muller

... had, no doubt, by subtle casuistry persuaded himself that he was doing good to the boy. He would be educated by the Jesuits, with whom he had cast in his lot; he would be trained as a son of the Catholic Church, and by this he hoped to gain favour, and ...
— Penshurst Castle - In the Days of Sir Philip Sidney • Emma Marshall

... growth of Orfutt's clerk in the confidence of all the people. In all the games, he was chosen umpire or referee; in most cases of dispute he was consulted, and his judgment was followed. Long before he became a lawyer, people were accustomed to say, in a matter of casuistry: ...
— In The Boyhood of Lincoln - A Tale of the Tunker Schoolmaster and the Times of Black Hawk • Hezekiah Butterworth

... explained the few details he possessed with regard to von Kerber's declared enemy, he would only add fuel to the distrust already planted in her heart. That would achieve no tangible good, while no casuistry would wipe away the stain on his own honor. So here was he, burning with desire to assure her of his devotion, forced into silent pact with the very conspiracy she ...
— The Wheel O' Fortune • Louis Tracy

... so well remember when Mr Graham first made me see that the question of duty does not always lie between a good thing and a bad thing: there would be no room for casuistry then, he said. A man has very often to decide between one good thing and another. But indeed I can hardly tell without more time to think, whether that comes in here. If a man wants to be generous, it must at least be at ...
— The Marquis of Lossie • George MacDonald

... of them he carried out perfectly: he did go straight to Cecil Tresilyan, and tell her of his intentions to depart. She did not betray much of her disappointment or surprise, but she argued with so fascinating a casuistry against the necessity of such a sudden step, that it was no wonder if she soon convinced her hearer of the propriety of at least delaying it. In a case like this an excuse of "urgent private affairs" that would suffice for the most rigid ...
— Sword and Gown - A Novel • George A. Lawrence

... obtain that aid only by facing a vast company of critical or sneering faces, I might, perhaps, shrink basely from the duty. It is true that no such case had ever actually occurred; so that it was a mere romance of casuistry to tax myself with cowardice so shocking. But, to feel a doubt, was to feel condemnation; and the crime that might have been was, in my eyes, the crime that had been. Now, however, all was changed; and for any thing which ...
— Autobiographic Sketches • Thomas de Quincey

... incest-dream would not prove an incest-desire in the living psyche. Rather the contrary, a living fear of the automatic conclusion: the soul's just dread of automatism. And though this may sound like casuistry, I believe it does explain a good deal of the dream-trick.—That which is lovely to the automatic process is hateful to the spontaneous soul. The wakeful living soul fears automatism as it fears death: death ...
— Fantasia of the Unconscious • D. H. Lawrence

... good advice? I have consulted God and demigod; the nymph of the river, and what I far more admire and trust, my blue-eyed Minerva. Both have said the same. My own heart was telling it already. Action, then, be mine; and into the deep sea with all this paralysing casuistry. I am happy to-day for ...
— The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson, Volume XXI • Robert Louis Stevenson

... his Case. This is, I take it, some confused allusion to the great Dominican Doctor, S. Thomas Aquinas, who was regarded as being the supreme Master of scholasticism and casuistry. Casuistry must be taken in its true and original meaning—the balancing ...
— The Works of Aphra Behn, Vol. III • Aphra Behn

... by parity of reason, retained upon its rolls all the degrees, all the modifications, all who had exercised a wise discretion, who, in so great a cause, had thought it a point of religion to be cautious; whose casuistry had moved in the harness of peace, and who had preferred an interest of conscience to a triumph of partisanship. We honour them for that policy; but we cannot hide from ourselves, that the very principle which makes such a policy honourable at the moment, makes it dangerous in reversion. For ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 55, No. 340, February, 1844 • Various

... reason.] — N. intuition, instinct, association, hunch, gut feeling; presentiment, premonition; rule of thumb; superstition; astrology^; faith (supposition) 514. sophistry, paralogy^, perversion, casuistry, jesuitry, equivocation, evasion; chicane, chicanery; quiddet^, quiddity; mystification; special pleading; speciousness &c adj.; nonsense &c 497; word sense, tongue sense. false reasoning, vicious reasoning, circular reasoning; petitio principii [Lat.], ignoratio elenchi [Lat.]; post hoc ergo ...
— Roget's Thesaurus of English Words and Phrases: Body • Roget

... escaped from the difficulty of his position by a play upon the word evil. He would have seen that he had undertaken to justify the conduct of the Father of Lights, by supposing it to be governed by the most corrupt maxim of the most corrupt system of casuistry ...
— A Theodicy, or, Vindication of the Divine Glory • Albert Taylor Bledsoe

... were guarded against any possible infringement." And they contrived, by an artful and technical interpretation, to find statutes which favored their ends. They wrought out asceticism into a system, and observed the most painful ceremonials—the ancestors of rigid monks; and they united a specious casuistry, not unlike the Jesuits, to excuse the violation of the spirit of the law. They were a hierarchical caste, whose ambition was to govern, and to govern by legal technicalities. They were utterly deficient ...
— Ancient States and Empires • John Lord

... all, Christ's message is a simpler thing than we have supposed. One can go into a theological library today and find stacks and stacks of volumes on religion, ethics, theology, casuistry, exegesis, philosophy, the Bible, ecclesiastical history, mysticism, apologetics, metaphysics and a dozen other subjects, all designed to illuminate, define and expound the realities that Jesus taught; but somehow they seem ...
— Hidden from the Prudent - The 7th William Penn Lecture, May 8, 1921 • Paul Jones

... above us, and the aspiration after good has often lent a strange power to evil. And sometimes, as at the Reformation, or French Revolution, when the upper classes of a so-called Christian country have become corrupted by priestcraft, by casuistry, by licentiousness, by despotism, the lower have risen up and re-asserted the natural ...
— Philebus • Plato

... of casuistry which it is not the business of a soldier to decide. We leave that to gownsmen. But pray, Mr. Penn, what right had you to the province ...
— Dialogues of the Dead • Lord Lyttelton

... included several retired army officers. Snt George, however, saved his face by the usual expedient of the victorious British general, attributing to Providence a result which by no polite stretch of casuistry could have been traced to the operations of his own brain. But here the dramatist was confronted by another difficulty: there being no curtain to ring down, how were the two corpses to be got gracefully rid of? Entered ...
— A Christmas Garland • Max Beerbohm

... under the command of the fiends. This was known as possession, or obsession. It was another of the mediaeval beliefs against which the reformers steadily set their faces; and all the resources of their casuistry were exhausted to expose its absurdity. But their position in this respect was an extremely delicate one. On one side of them zealous Catholics were exorcising devils, who shrieked out their testimony to the ...
— Elizabethan Demonology • Thomas Alfred Spalding

... beguilingly as a brook through a meadow and gave Hugh opportunity to contemplate incidentally the play of air and light in Ramsey's curls without her having the slightest suspicion of him!—gave her chances to ply him with questions in autobiography and social casuistry and to enjoy keenly the ridiculous majesty of his eyes and voice, while the two dear chaperons talked apart as obliviously as if she were merely asking him how deep the whiskey ...
— Gideon's Band - A Tale of the Mississippi • George W. Cable

... the condemnation of Servetus by a civil tribunal, which had no authority over him, and no jurisdiction over his crime—the most aggressive and revolutionary act, therefore, that is conceivable in the casuistry of persecution—was highly approved by Melanchthon. He declared it a most useful example for all future ages, and could not understand that there should be any who did not regard it in the same favourable light.[242] It is true that Servetus, by ...
— The History of Freedom • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... nations"; or, as in another place, that the principle broached "is merely a suggestion of the learned commentator as a possible policy, and has no support either in the practice of nations or the works of publicists";—but the editor never condescends to meet the French writer upon his own field of casuistry and speculation. And in this we think he is right. The discussion of rules existing only in a text-writer's belief in their abstract justice, would be entirely useless labor in any writer in the English language; ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 108, October, 1866 • Various

... the men attempted anything in reply to her casuistry; they both looked equally posed by it, for different reasons; and Agatha went on as vehemently as before, addressing herself now to one ...
— Henry James, Jr. • William Dean Howells

... Bench between shocked displeasure and half-humorous astonishment that a poet should have any opinions about Russia, or, having some, should find anybody to take them seriously. It is all cant, my friends—nothing but cant; and at its base lies the old dispute between principle and casuistry. If politics and statecraft rest ultimately on principles of right and wrong, then a poet has as clear a right as any man to speak upon them: as clear a right now as when Tennyson lifted his voice on behalf of the Fleet, or Wordsworth penned his 'Two Voices' sonnet, or Milton ...
— From a Cornish Window - A New Edition • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... colonial community on the eastern seaboard of America. It was certainly not self-evident, in the sense of law and precedent, that the imperial government could not lay taxes on such colonists. Nor were the taxes themselves of that practically oppressive sort which rightly raise everywhere the common casuistry of revolution. The Whig oligarchs had their faults, but utter lack of sympathy with liberty, especially local liberty, and with their adventurous kindred beyond the seas, was by no means one of their faults. Chatham, the great chief ...
— A Short History of England • G. K. Chesterton

... as on the whole the proper measure. Laura went into the nursery to look at them when she came home—it was her habit almost any night—and yearned over them as mothers and maids do alike over the pillow of rosy childhood. They were an antidote to all casuistry; for Selina to forget them—that was the beginning and the end of shame. She came back to the library, where she should best hear the sound of her sister's return; the hours passed as she sat there, without bringing round this event. Carriages came and went all ...
— A London Life; The Patagonia; The Liar; Mrs. Temperly • Henry James

... pleasures. 'Fictitious' as they may be, therefore, the fiction enables us to express real truths, and to state facts which are of the highest importance to the moralist and the legislator. Bentham discusses some cases of casuistry in order to show the relation between the tendency of an action and the intention and motives of the agent. Ravaillac murders a good king; Ravaillac's son enables his father to escape punishment, or conveys poison to his father to enable him to avoid torture ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume I. • Leslie Stephen

... at once as a sacrifice to justice. Perhaps it might be no absurd or unreasonable regulation in the legislature, to divest all lunatics of the privilege of insanity, and, in cases of enormity, subject them to the common penalties of the law; for though, in the eye of casuistry, consciousness must enter into the constitution of guilt, the consequences of murder committed by a maniac may be as pernicious to society as those of the most criminal and deliberate assassination, and the punishment of death can be hardly ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.II. - From William and Mary to George II. • Tobias Smollett

... this great controversy, or to endeavour to estimate its value, or the merits of the attack and defence on particular points. The subject is one by itself, more or less entering into the whole question of morals, and especially the immense fabric of casuistry or moral theology built up by successive teachers in the Jesuit schools. Trained, as he was, a devout disciple of the Roman Church, enthusiastic on behalf of its doctrines and preachers, Pascal ...
— Pascal • John Tulloch

... point of casuistry too. "Well, of course I don't know, Mrs. Saunders. Has she said anything about Mr. ...
— The Coast of Bohemia • William Dean Howells

... himself? How to be sure? Or, again, has it ever entered his head that, if I accept him, I lay myself open to the shadow of a reproach or am in any sense rewarding or thanking him? I am harrowed by the hair-splitting casuistry of the heroines in Cyrus and Astraea, by all the subtle arguments ...
— Letters of Two Brides • Honore de Balzac

... his belief in the existence of North America. People of this kind quite consistently think Sludge to be merely a scoundrel talking nonsense. It may be remembered that they thought the same thing of Newman. It is actually supposed, apparently in the current use of words, that casuistry is the name of a crime; it does not appear to occur to people that casuistry is a science, and about as much a crime as botany. This tendency to casuistry in Browning's monologues has done much towards establishing for him that reputation ...
— Robert Browning • G. K. Chesterton

... training in the use of the French language should be substituted for the disputations in Latin; that in religion the study of the Bible was neglected for books of devotion and propaganda compiled by the members of the Order; that moral casuistry and religious bigotry were taught; and that the discipline was unnecessarily severe and wrong ...
— THE HISTORY OF EDUCATION • ELLWOOD P. CUBBERLEY

... Sundays, though, as he never entered it on week-days, it was easy to turn the proposition into ridicule. If, therefore, Mrs. Mallet was a woman of an exquisite moral tone, it was not that she had inherited her temper from an ancestry with a turn for casuistry. Jonas Mallet, at the time of his marriage, was conducting with silent shrewdness a small, unpromising business. Both his shrewdness and his silence increased with his years, and at the close of his life he was an extremely well-dressed, ...
— Roderick Hudson • Henry James

... member of the social structure to which he belongs. In particular cases this may lead to such problems as that of Fletcher of Saltoun. His sense of honour and his general benevolence, though both useful, might come into collision; and the most difficult of all questions of casuistry arise from such conflicts between private and public affections. Mill is justified in holding that a sense of honour cannot give an ultimate and autocratic decision. Under some pretext or other, we shall have to ask the ...
— The English Utilitarians, Volume II (of 3) - James Mill • Leslie Stephen

... so, whilst the great catholic acts of life are entirely (and, if we may so phrase it, haughtily) independent of consequences. For instance, fidelity to a trust is a law of immutable morality subject to no casuistry whatever. You have been left executor to a friend—you are to pay over his last legacy to X, though a dissolute scoundrel; and you are to give no shilling of it to the poor brother of X, though a good man, and a wise man, struggling with adversity. You are absolutely excluded from all contemplation ...
— Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine — Volume 57, No. 351, January 1845 • Various

... which everybody wished him to violate,—constituted an obligation. Jephtha's daughter was a case in point, and was cited by somebody sitting near me. Peregrine Courtenay on one side of the House, and Lord Palmerston on the other, attempted to enlighten the poor Orangeman on the question of casuistry. They might as well have preached to any madman out of St. Luke's. "I feel," said the silly creature, "that I am doing wrong, and acting very unjustifiably. If gentlemen will forgive me, I will never do so again. But I must keep my word." We roared with laughter ...
— Life and Letters of Lord Macaulay • George Otto Trevelyan

... flagrantly corrupt political bargain in which he was too good to take part, but not too good to take profit. Charles Sumner happened to be the partner to receive these stolen goods, but between his friend and his father the boy felt no distinction, and, for him, there was none. He entered into no casuistry on the matter. His friend was right because his friend, and the boy shared the glory. The question of education did not rise while the conflict lasted. Yet every one saw as clearly then as afterwards that a lesson of some sort must be learned and ...
— The Education of Henry Adams • Henry Adams

... my wife reasoned it all out with him. She convinced me, perfectly, so that what Tedham proposed to do seemed not only sentimental and foolish, but unnatural and impious. I confess that I admired her casuistry, and gave it my full support. She was a woman who, in the small affairs of the tastes and the nerves and the prejudices could be as illogical as the best of her sex, but with a question large enough ...
— A Pair of Patient Lovers • William Dean Howells

... towards autumn, and who wrote back from Virginia with war for war, controlment for controlment. These menaces, however, frightened me little: my poor mother's thunder could not reach me; and my conscience, or casuistry, supplied me with other interpretations for her texts of Scripture, so that her oracles had not the least weight with me in frightening me from my purpose. How my new loves speeded I neither informed her, nor any other members of my maternal or paternal family, ...
— The Virginians • William Makepeace Thackeray

... collection of unrelated opinions, but a connected whole. The tendency towards a separate department of study is shown by the ever-increasing space devoted to the discussion of general economic topics in general theological treatises, and more notably still in the manuals of casuistry for the use of the confessional, and handbooks of canon law for the use of ecclesiastical lawyers. It was shown even more distinctly by the appearance of a shoal of special treatises on such subjects as contracts, exchange, and money, not to mention ...
— An Essay on Mediaeval Economic Teaching • George O'Brien

... piece of casuistry, Amelie, like others of her sex, placed a hand of steel, encased in a silken glove, upon her heart, and tyrannically suppressed its yearnings. She was a victim, with the outward show of conquest over her feelings. ...
— The Golden Dog - Le Chien d'Or • William Kirby

... no such things as law schools," replied the doctor, smiling. "The law as a special science is obsolete. It was a system of casuistry which the elaborate artificiality of the old order of society absolutely required to interpret it, but only a few of the plainest and simplest legal maxims have any application to the existing state of the world. Everything touching ...
— Looking Backward - 2000-1887 • Edward Bellamy

... words the benevolent Mr. Wilkinson fell flat on his face in the road, but continued to laugh softly, and turned towards his flying companion a face of peculiar peace and benignity. Evan's mind went through a crisis of instantaneous casuistry, in which it may be that he decided wrongly; but about how he decided his biographer can profess no doubt. Two minutes afterwards he had overtaken Turnbull and told the tale; ten minutes afterwards he and Turnbull had somehow tumbled into the yacht called the ...
— The Ball and The Cross • G.K. Chesterton

... an uneasy conscience which no casuistry would lighten. He threw himself in Mallinson's way time after time in order to ascertain whether the latter had spoken. Mallinson let no word of the matter slip from him, and for the rest seemed utterly despondent. Fielding threw ...
— The Philanderers • A.E.W. Mason



Words linked to "Casuistry" :   logical argument, argument, probabilism, argumentation, casuist, line of reasoning, ethics, moral philosophy, line, casuistic



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