The steel man

While listening to Sam Harris’ Waking Up this morning, the debate technique of a “steel man” came up, which was new to me.

While the term of a “straw man” has now entered common vernacular, especially in the computing industry, its opposite idea is much less common. The straw man refers to building a position that mischaracterizes an opponent’s view or is otherwise easy to defeat, a steel man builds an argument that’s better constructed than an opponent can articulate themselves. Tearing it down is proportionally more difficult, and doing so further solidifies your own position.

The steel man

August 6, 2016

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