“Casuistry (noun): The determining of right and wrong in matters of conduct or conscience, or the applying of principles of ethics, particularly in instances that are complex or ambiguous; false, deceptive reasoning about law or morals; sophisticated persuasion. Adjective: casuistic, casuistical; adverb: casuistically.
‘After you strip this prose of its casuistic caveats, distinctions and reservations, there still remains the “needs to be taken seriously as studiously”; there remains the “structural” identity that, at least for this high culture illiterate, means flagrant gilding by association.’ John Simon, Reverse Angle”
Excerpted from: Grambs, David. The Random House Dictionary for Writers and Readers. New York: Random House, 1990.