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Casuistry

Casuistry is a case-based method of ethical reasoning often 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 common law reasoning.

Practitioners in various fields value casuistry as an orderly yet flexible way to think about real-life ethical problems. Casuistry is orderly in its commitment to follow the precedent established by paradigmatic cases, yet flexible in recognizing that the particularities of new cases allow for different conclusions. Casuistry can be particularly useful when values or rules conflict. For example, it can explore the problem of when the duty to meet a client’s expectations collides with a professional duty ...

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