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ethos, pathos, logos

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Beth Stewart

on 21 August 2014

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Transcript of ethos, pathos, logos

Logical Fallacies
The Big Three Argument Strategies
Persuasive Strategies
Mainstream Argument:
What You Gotta Know

Logos: Authors structure their argument and use facts to make their ideas more logical.
(cc) photo by medhead on Flickr
Ethos: Authors establish their credibility in order to gain their audience's trust. Any strategy that makes an author more believable builds his ethos.
Pathos: Authors often try to appeal to their audience's emotions.
Try to convince your audience that this issue is so important they must act now.
If you call by the end of this show, we’ll knock off one full payment!
Kairos (Urgency)
Everyone has the new iPhone. You really need it, so that people don't laugh at your outdated Nokia that no one else uses!
Everyone else is doing it.
Using need-based or value-based words to appeal to readers.
Glittering Generalities

Burying or discrediting opposing evidence
Card Stacking
Using personal experience, often from a famous figure, to enhance your point.
Using reliable research that can help your argument seem convincing.
Scientific Approach
Using simple language or slogans which appeal to the average person (or even someone slightly less than average!).
Plain Folks

Using questions that you assume to be true (or at least common knowledge).
Rhetorical Questions
Sex Appeal
Circular Reasoning
Stating a conclusion that doesn’t follow from one or both of the premises:
I’ve done this a thousand times already, so I know I’ll do great today.
Non Sequitur
A statement that does not logically follow from the previous claim. Can you create a non sequitur for this cartoon?
Supplying neat and easy explanations for large and complicated phenomena.
With all of these scandalous affairs from our government officials, it’s no wonder that our economy is in shambles.
Hasty generalization
Leaping to a generalization from inadequate or problematic evidence:
Pit Bulls are too violent to have around children.
Using a Doubtful or Unidentified Source
Everyone knows that “the eyes are the window to the soul” (anonymous).
Ad hominem
Attacking a person’s views by attacking his character:
How could anyone be affected by Al Gore’s views on the 2012 election? The fool claimed to have invented the internet!
Red herring
Introducing an irrelevant or illogical idea in order to distract from the primary argument
What is Fallacy?
Fallacies are defects that weaken arguments.

First, fallacious arguments are very, very common and can be quite persuasive, at least to the causal reader or listener. You can find dozens of examples of fallacious reasoning in newspapers, advertisements, and other sources.

Second, it is sometimes hard to evaluate whether an argument is fallacious.

An argument might be very weak, somewhat weak, somewhat strong, or very strong. An argument that has several stages or parts might have some strong sections and some weak ones.
Definition: One way of making our own arguments stronger is to anticipate and respond in advance to the arguments that an opponent might make. The arguer sets up a wimpy version of the opponent’s position and tries to score point by knocking it down.

Example: "Feminists want to ban all pornography and punish everyone who reads it! But such harsh measures are surely inappropriate, so the feminists are wrong: porn and its readers should be left in peace."
The feminist argument is made weak by being overstated--in fact, most feminists do not propose an outright "ban" on porn or any punishment for those who merely read it; often, they propose some restrictions on things like child porn, or propose to allow people who are hurt by porn to sue publishers and producers, not readers, for damages.
Straw Man
False Analogy
an inaccurate, inappropriate, or misleading comparison between two things
Letting the prisoners out on early release is like absolving them of their crimes.
Complex Question
The fallacy of complex question is committed when a single question that is really two (or more) questions is asked and the single answer is then applied to both questions.
Have you stopped cheating on exams?
Poisoning the Well: is a fallacy in which a person rejects a claim simply because it is pointed out that people she dislikes accept the claim.
Slippery Slope:
Making the assumption that one event inevitably follows another.
Full transcript