, Volume 35, Issue 2, pp 431–440

Straw Men, Iron Men, and Argumentative Virtue


DOI: 10.1007/s11245-015-9308-5

Cite this article as:
Aikin, S.F. & Casey, J.P. Topoi (2016) 35: 431. doi:10.1007/s11245-015-9308-5


The straw man fallacy consists in inappropriately constructing or selecting weak (or comparatively weaker) versions of the opposition’s arguments. We will survey the three forms of straw men recognized in the literature, the straw, weak, and hollow man. We will then make the case that there are examples of inappropriately reconstructing stronger versions of the opposition’s arguments. Such cases we will call iron man fallacies. The difference between appropriate and inappropriate iron manning clarifies the limits of the virtue of open-mindedness.


Iron man fallacy Open-mindedness Straw man fallacy Weak man fallacy 

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyVanderbilt UniversityNashvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of PhilosophyNortheastern Illinois UniversityChicagoUSA

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