Description and type: tendency to invoke arcane theoretical treatises beyond the scope of the course to justify digressive and/or divergent responses to class materials, especially through fractured or inverted logic. Digressive/rebellious disorder.

Symptoms and signs: blatantly flouts academic decorum by arguing extensively with instructor, often in ways designed specifically to baffle or stymie same. Vide digression, critical thinking, divergent interpretation. May parody accepted institutional practices and philosophical operations in order to cast doubt and ridicule on them.

Etiology: a basic rebelliousness rooted in incomplete oedipal resolution is exacerbated by divagatory intellectual influences (often grouped under the rubric "critical theory"). At the heart of casuistry is a fundamentally sound syllogistic impulse that has been perverted by excess pressure from deep-seated and untreated chaos generators in the brain stem.

Treatment: divergent tendencies respond well to directalis, antiauthoritarian tendencies to obedioflavin bromide (BootCamp 500), parody to reprobamate (Panacean G), inverted logic to lineazolamide (Logosipan Z, Booledrine). In extreme cases, aversion therapy may be required (ridicule, isolation).

Prognosis: excellent. Casuistry, unlike critical thinking, is generally a superficial disease that is easily uprooted or adjusted back into acceptable bounds.

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Copyright 1992 Doug Robinson and Bill Kaul