Question: Who coined the term "steelman" or "steelmanning", and when?

I was surprised not to find it in the wiki, but the term is gaining currency outside LessWrong.

Also, I'd be surprised if the concept were new. Are there past names for it? Principle of charity is pretty close, but not as extreme.

Google search with a date restriction and a few other tricks to filter out late comments on earlier blog posts suggests Luke's post Better disagreement as the first online reference, though the first widely linked reference is quite recent, from the Well Spent Journey blog.

Open thread, July 16-22, 2013

by David_Gerard 1 min read15th Jul 2013305 comments

15


If it's worth saying, but not worth its own post (even in Discussion), then it goes here.


Given the discussion thread about these, let's try calling this a one-week thread, and see if anyone bothers starting one next Monday.