Steelman (verb)

velisarius

Senior Member
British English (Sussex)
I've just come across this metaphorical use of steelman, used here as a verb:

To put it in a different way, to steelman the populist position, democracy does not reflect the will of the citizenry, it reflects the will of an activist class, which is not representative of the general population.
Why is Everything Liberal?


It doesn't seem to have made an appearance yet in the major dictionaries, but it's mentioned in these:
"To refute a stronger version of an argument than what was actually given; to repair flaws in an argument before refuting it"
steelman - Wiktionary
"The opposite of "straw man": representing an argument as strongly as possible."
Urban Dictionary: Steel man

It appears in contrast to the well-known concept of the "strawman".
 
  • Cork Irish

    Senior Member
    British English
    I've just come across this metaphorical use of steelman, used here as a verb:

    To put it in a different way, to steelman the populist position, democracy does not reflect the will of the citizenry, it reflects the will of an activist class, which is not representative of the general population.
    Why is Everything Liberal?


    It doesn't seem to have made an appearance yet in the major dictionaries, but it's mentioned in these:
    "To refute a stronger version of an argument than what was actually given; to repair flaws in an argument before refuting it"
    steelman - Wiktionary
    "The opposite of "straw man": representing an argument as strongly as possible."
    Urban Dictionary: Steel man

    It appears in contrast to the well-known concept of the "strawman".
    It doesn't just mean "to steelman it in order to refute it", but rather "to represent the strong points of an argument" (as opposed to strawmanning, representing weak points).
     

    KHS

    Senior Member
    It doesn't just mean "to steelman it in order to refute it", but rather "to represent the strong points of an argument" (as opposed to strawmanning, representing weak points).
    Just a side note: In my understanding, to strawman means to use not only weak but also fallacious arguments, but make them *seem* as if they represent a position, in order to refute the real argument.
     
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