Without wishing to become embroiled in (another) flame war:
>If you disagree that your argument is a strawman
>one then fine, show it.
Although I feel that Peter - unlike, say, Jacek or Kate - isn't setting out
to simply provoke argument, isn't "trolling" as such - I do feel that the
tone of his remarks can often have that effect. He may have a point that
Nancy and Carrol often make strong arguments - but I think that that's
because they have strong conviction in what they have to say. Parallel
this with Peter's remarks, which most often waver hither and thither and
exhibit a very postmodern (and, to my mind, very wrong) impression that
there can be no "right" or "wrong" answers or approaches to, well,
anything. And I think it's incumbent on Peter, if he believes certain
arguments to be strawman, to demonstrate them as such, rather than for the
original poster to prove otherwise. It's a cowardly approach to simply say
"you are wrong" or "your argument is facile" without providing any
rationale behind your assertion - and it's certainly a strange approach for
one who apparently abhors absolutist arguments.
And it's not a matter of having a right to disagree with one another - but
perhaps a modicum of respect might be demonstrated? Though I'm sure Peter
sees his remarks as being good-natured and in the spirit of 'academic
banter', I still feel (as a relative newcomer to this list) that they most
often seem inflammatory - mostly because they're so often lacking in
substance. If you disagree with what someone has to say, then please
explain what you disagree with, and let your arguments stand on their own
merits - without all of the needling and guffawing about particular
styles. I've disagreed with Nancy in the past, and had fairly lengthy
discussions with her off-list, and never found her to be anything but
courteous even in disagreement. And I think that Peter might want to think
about the fact that, if nothing else, Jacek keeps on jumping to his support
- that should be enough to lead anyone to question the way in which
they're coming across to the rest of the list.
Oh, and a little trimming of quoted replies would be nice, too...
 I'm in my twenties, so I claim a right to bandy about the term.