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Casuistry is a case-based method of reasoning used in business ethics, bioethics, and the ethics of various professions. Casuistry typically uses general principles in reasoning analogically from clear-cut cases, called paradigms, to vexing cases. Similar cases are treated similarly. In this way, casuistry resembles legal reasoning. Casuistry may also use authoritative writings relevant to a particular case.

Practitioners in various fields value casuistry as an orderly yet flexible way to think about real-life ethical problems. Casuistry can be particularly useful when values or rules conflict. For example, what should be done when the duty to meet a client's expectations collides with a professional duty to protect the public? Casuistry also helps clarify cases where novel or complex circumstances make the application of rules unclear. Should e-mail ...

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