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See also: Steelman
steelman (plural steelmen)
- A steelworker.
- A stronger version of an argument that one is about to critically analyze.
- Antonym: strawman
- 2011 October 24, Luke Muehlhauser, “Better Disagreement”, in Less Wrong:
- a "steel man" is an improvement of someone's position or argument that is harder to defeat than their originally stated position or argument.
- To repair flaws in an argument before analyzing it critically; to refute or to weaken the force of a stronger version of an argument than what was actually given.
- 2015 February 11, Daniel Armak, “Re: volunteers for feb 24.”, in LessWrong Tel Aviv, Usenet:
- It is possible that while preparing for the talk I will manage to convince myself that the problem is in fact resolved or dissolved. In that case I will treat you to my best steelmanning of the problem, and its resolution.
- 2017 June 26, Conor Friedersdorf, “The Highest Form of Disagreement”, in The Atlantic:
- And America would benefit if our culture of argument elevated the opposite approach, steel-manning, “the art of addressing the best form of the other person’s argument, even if it’s not the one they presented.”