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The Rhetorical Appeals: Pathos, Ethos, and Logos

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Joel Cox

on 9 September 2013

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Transcript of The Rhetorical Appeals: Pathos, Ethos, and Logos

Building Bridges
(esp. IDing with audience)
Sustaining an Argument
(emotion lasts)
Humor
( it's hard to say no when you're laughing; also, humor usually contains a "kernel of truth"; invective humor and ridicule creates social pressure)
Sage Advice:
Facts alone often won't carry the day, even for a worthy cause.
Emotion is often the difference between being convinced and acting on a conviction.
How Emotional Arguments Work
Extended Do Now:
Read pgs. 7-17 of 'An Introduction to Rhetoric' [photocopy provided] and complete the corresponding reading guide.
Aristotle, one of the most influential thinkers ever, on the art of persuasion:

"There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion. The man who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions-that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited."

(from "On Rhetoric" via classics.mit.edu)
Pathos, Logos, and Ethos
Elements of the Rhetorical Situation
Purpose/Intent
Pathos: Appealing to Emotions
Don't play puppeteer with people's emotions: that's called "propaganda,," and it's not cool.
Before we accept the words of others, we must usually respect their authority, admire their integrity and motives, or at least acknowledge what they stand for.
Ethos: Building an Appealing Persona
Individuals
,
Groups
and
Institutions
all cultivate a "persona" that the intended audience will find appealing (or not).
It's not just seeming likeable and honest but als0 affirming an identity and sharing all or parts of it with an intended audience.
How Character-Based Arguments Work
Claiming Authority
(titles, credentials, personal experiences)
not necessarily an "open claim"
Establishing Credibility
(honesty, respect for audience's values, humor, "conditions of rebuttal")
Coming Clean about Motives
(esp. conflicts of interest and personal benefits)
(Use the corresponding worksheet)
(analyzing TV ads for
the three appeals...)
Most of us respect appeals to logos--arguments based on facts, evidence, and reason--but we're inclined to test the facts against our feelings and against the ethos of those making the appeal.
Logos: Appealing to Reason
"Hard Evidence": Claim + Supporting Evidence
Forensic Evidence
Data and Statistics
Historical Records
Testimonies and Narratives
"Reason and Common Sense"
"Syllogisms": If A=B and B=C, then A=C
"Informal Logic": Habits of mind and shared cultural assumptions
Common Logical Structures of Argument
Degree:
If A is (good or bad) how much (better or worse) is B?
Analogy:
A=B; therefore I should feel about B how I feel about A
Precedent:
If A was true there and then, it can be true here and now.
Sage Advice:
"'Facts" are not always what they seem, and logic can be faulty.
Sage Advice:
Don't judge a book by its cover: be aware of the "argument from authority" fallacy.
Writer (Speaker)
Meaning
Message
Audience
Context
Interest/Appeal
Use the three rhetorical
appeals to analyze this
poster from then-Senator
Obama's presidential campaign.
I have provided a template for
your response:

Speaker: Message: Audience:

Logos:

Pathos:

Ethos:
Do Now
A Closer Look at Logos:
Syllogisms and Enthymemes
"Logos" refers to more than just facts and figures--logos is the very idea of a well-reasoned argument. As such, logos plays a more central role in the success of a text than do the other two appeals.
We will examine two models for identifying
and evaluating the "core logic" of a given
argument:

Syllogism:
a form of logical reasoning in which specific conclusions are deduced from abstract principles
Enthymeme
: a syllogism in which one or more of the premises is assumed, or "held in the mind," by the speaker and/or audience
Syllogisms
Here’s the basic layout of a Syllogism:
First, there’s a Major Premise:
e.g., “All men are mortal.”
e.g., "Drugs are bad."
Next, there’s a Minor Premise:
e.g., “Socrates is a man.”
e.g., "Marijuana is a drug."
Finally, a logical Conclusion (from premises):
e.g., “Socrates is mortal.”
e.g., "Marijuana is bad."

You Try!
Using the Omelas question as an example, create some
of your own syllogisms:

For staying in or leaving Omelas:
Major Premise (guiding principle):
Minor Premise (specific instance):
Conclusion (logical outcome):

Enthymemes
In an enthymeme, one of the premises or the conclusion
is merely assumed--it is left unstated, held "in the mind"
of the audience and/or speaker.

As a syllogism:
Major Premise: Misbehavior warrants a detention.
Minor Premise: You have misbehaved.
Conclusion: You deserve a detention.
As an enthymeme:
**(omitted)Major Premise: Misbehavior warrants a detention.(omitted)**
Minor Premise: You have misbehaved.
Conclusion: You deserve a detention.
Final Product: "Because you've misbehaved, you have earned detention."

You Try!
Using your Omelas syllogism, turn it into an enthymeme
by eliminating one of the premises or the conclusion:

Practice with syllogisms and enthymemes (PowerPoint)
Homework:
Complete Part 3 of the
"Rhetorical Analysis Guide"
using your chosen text.
Full transcript