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From French casuiste, from Spanish casuista, from Latin casus (case)



casuist (plural casuists)

  1. (ethics) A person who resolves cases of conscience or moral duty.
  2. Someone who attempts to specify exact and precise rules for the direction of every circumstance of behaviour.
    • 1761, Adam Smith, The Theory of Moral Sentiments, 2nd edition, London: Printed for A[ndrew] Millar, []; Edinburgh: A[lexander] Kincaid and J. Bell, OCLC 504648843, part VI (Of Systems of Moral Philosophy), section IV (Of the Manner in which Different Authors have Treated of the Practical Rules of Morality), page 433:
      Something, indeed, not unlike the doctrine of the caſuiſts, ſeems to have been attempted by ſeveral philoſophers. There is ſomething of this kind in the third book of Cicero's offices, where he endeavours like a caſuiſt to give rules for our conduct in many nice caſes, in which it is difficult to determine whereabouts the point of propriety may lie.
  3. One who is skilled in, or given to, casuistry.
    • South
      The judgment of any casuist or learned divine concerning the state of a man's soul, is not sufficient to give him confidence.

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