Medieval economics was little more than a casuistical system of elaborate and somewhat artificial rules of conduct.
Cicero shows that he was much interested in casuistical questions, as, for example, whether a good man who had received a coin which he knew to be bad was justified in passing it on to another.
It has sometimes been thought of as an outward law, sometimes as an inward disposition; and each of these rival conceptions has developed a casuistical method of its own.
Soon after the introduction of the literary journal in England, one of a more familiar tone was started by the eccentric John Dunton in the Athenian Gazette, or Casuistical Mercury, resolving all the most Nice and Curious Questions (1689-1690 to 1695-1696), afterwards called The Athenian Mercury, a kind of forerunner of Notes and Queries, being a penny weekly sheet, with a quarterly critical supplement.
In his casuistical works he was a diligent compiler, whose avowed design was to take a middle course between the two current extremes of severity and laxity.