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Pathos, Logos, Ethos

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Michael Kellermeyer

on 7 February 2011

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Transcript of Pathos, Logos, Ethos

Logos (Uses Logic to Win) Pathos (Uses Empathy to Win) Ethos (Uses Ethics to Win) Logos is an appeal based on logic or reason. Documents distributed by companies or corporations are logos-driven. Scholarly documents are also often logos-driven. Ethos is appeal based on the character of the speaker. An ethos-driven document relies on the reputation of the author. Pathos is appeal based on emotion. Advertisements tend to be pathos-driven. Logos (Greek for 'word') refers to the internal consistency of the message--the clarity of the claim, the logic of its reasons, and the effectiveness of its supporting evidence. The impact of logos on an audience is sometimes called the argument's logical appeal. Ethos (Greek for 'character') refers to the trustworthiness or credibility of the writer or speaker. Ethos is often conveyed through tone and style of the message and through the way the writer or speaker refers to differing views. It can also be affected by the writer's reputation as it exists independently from the message--his or her expertise in the field, his or her previous record or integrity, and so forth. The impact of ethos is often called the argument's 'ethical appeal' or the 'appeal from credibility.' Pathos (Greek for 'suffering' or 'experience') is often associated with emotional appeal. But a better equivalent might be 'appeal to the audience's sympathies and imagination.'

An appeal to pathos causes an audience not just to respond emotionally but to identify with the writer's point of view--to feel what the writer feels. In this sense, pathos evokes a meaning implicit in the verb 'to suffer'--to feel pain imaginatively.

The values, beliefs, and understandings of the writer are implicit in the story and conveyed imaginatively to the reader. Pathos thus refers to both the emotional and the imaginative impact of the message on an audience, the power with which the writer's message moves the audience to decision or action. means convincing by the character of the author. We tend to believe people whom we respect. One of the central problems of argumentation is to project an impression to the reader that you are someone worth listening to, in other words making yourself as author into an authority on the subject of the paper, as well as someone who is likable and worthy of respect. means persuading by appealing to the reader's emotions. We can look at texts ranging from classic essays to contemporary advertisements to see how pathos, emotional appeals, are used to persuade. Language choice affects the audience's emotional response, and emotional appeal can effectively be used to enhance an argument. means persuading by the use of reasoning. This will be the most important technique we will study, and Aristotle's favorite. We'll look at deductive and inductive reasoning, and discuss what makes an effective, persuasive reason to back up your claims. Giving reasons is the heart of argumentation, and cannot be emphasized enough. Rather than coldly logical, judgmentally ethical or mindlessly emotional, it tactfully blends logos, ethos and pathos into a sensitive and intelligent presentation of an idea, belief or concern. Effective Rhetoric is conversational, steady, confident, understanding, and compassionate. It isn't entirely logical, ethical or empathetic, but blends all three, acknowledging the audience's personal culture, ethics, experience and needs. Kairos (Greek for 'right or supreme moment') refers to the timing and
situation of rhetoric. If Logos, Ethos and Pathos are "Hows" then Kairos
is the "Why and When." Kairos is the Context of rhetoric, and using Kairos
means taking advantage of circumstances. When you understand what's
going on in history, current events, fashion, news, politics and society,
using Kairos means being aware of your setting (time and place), and
taking advantage of those things to influence and communicate with your
audience. While not as agressive as Logos, Pathos and Ethos, Kairos is the
background against which rhetoric is crafted and projected. Kairos (Uses Context and Timing to Win) means being aware of and taking advantage of the time, place and events that correspond with your message. When you are aware of what is going on in the world, society or your neighborhood, using Kairos in your rhetoric will immediately strike at your audience's present rather than their past. Kairos is an appeal based on timing. It revolves around cultural and historical awareness as well as sensitivity to the audience's geographical, political and societal background. "But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security." Thomas Jefferson, The Declaration of Independence "One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws."
Martin Luther King Jr. "Letter from a Birmingham Jail" "From the day I took office, I've been told that addressing our larger challenges is too ambitious; such an effort would be too contentious.... For those who make these claims, I have one simple question: How long should we wait? How long should America put its future on hold?"
Barack Obama, State of the Union Address 2010 Aristotlean Rhetoric: Aristotle's (384 BCE – 322 BCE) theories of speaking and writing to artfully sway an audience in your favor. Aristotle was a Greek thinker and a student of Socrates who developed Logos, Ethos, Pathos and Kairos, the four elements of argumentation that composition scholars still describe as the most critical mechanics of debate, argument and rhetoric "Great tragedy has come to us, and we are meeting it with the best that is in our country, with courage and concern for others because this is America. This is who we are."
George W. Bush, Speech Given after Sept. 11, 2001 Aristotle thought that, while Empathy, Ethics and Timing were critical to extraordinary rhetoric, Logic was the skeleton that an argument needed to be fleshed around. If a composition isn't logical, it won't stand up against the attacks and criticism of its opponents. Logos, therefore, is the most fundamental element of rhetoric. Mature rhetoric
is balanced and conversational Rhetoric: (noun) Skillful composition, arrangement and use of language; the ability to use language effectively, especially to persuade or influence people
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