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Chapter 2 Arguments Based on Emotion: Pathos

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Charish O'Neil

on 7 April 2014

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Transcript of Chapter 2 Arguments Based on Emotion: Pathos

Works Cited
Lunsford, Andrea A., John J. Ruszkiewicz, and Keith Walters.
"Arguments Based on Emotion: Pathos." Everything's an Argument: With Readings. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin's, 2007. 38-51. Print.
Postman, Neil. "The Huxleyan Warning." Amusing Ourselves to
Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. New York: Viking, 1985. N. pag. Print.
"The Inspirational Video Everyone Should Live By (Thai Mobile
Advert)." YouTube. YouTube, 13 Sept. 2013. Web. 17 Feb. 2014.
This chapter explains how emotions can be successfully used throughout an argument. By understanding how emotional arguments work, using emotions to build bridges, using emotions to sustain arguments, using humor, and using arguments based on emotion, an individual can prepare an argument using emotional appeals correctly.
Important Terminology
Emotional appeals (appeals to pathos) - powerful tools for influencing what people think and believe (pg. 38)
Ridicule - humor aimed at a particular target (pg. 50)
Human Interest Stories - used to give presence to issues or arguments (pg.50)
Using Emotions to Sustain an Argument
You can use emotional appeals to make logical claims stronger or more memorable. (pg.46)
Use too much emotion, like pity, outrage or shame, and you could offend the targeted audience. (pg.46)
Writers can generate emotions by presenting arguments in their starkest terms, stripped of qualifications or subtleties. Readers or listeners are confronted with core issues or important choices and asked to consider the consequences. (pg.48)
Understanding How Emotional Arguments Work
When writers and speakers find the words and images that evoke certain emotions in people, they might also move their audience to sympathize with ideas that they connect to those feelings and even to act on them. (pg.41)
Arguments based on emotion probably count more when you're persuading than when you're arguing. When arguing, you might use reasons and evidence to convince readers something is true. When persuading, however, you want people to take action. (pg.42)
Using Emotions to Build Bridges
You may want to use emotions to connect with readers to assure them that you understand their experiences or, "feel their pain". (pg.44)
A more obvious way to build an emotional tie is simply to help readers identify with your experiences. (pg.44)
Ex. I tell the class, "I am legally blind." There is a pause, a collective intake of breath. I feel them look away uncertainly and then look back. After all, I just said I couldn't see. Or did I? I had managed to get there on my own-no cane, no dog, none of the usual trappings of blindness. Eyeing me askance now, they might detect that my gaze is not quite focused.... They watch me glance down or towards the door where someone's coming in late. I'm just like anyone else. -Georgina Kleege, "Call It Blindness" (pg.45)
Chapter 2 Arguments Based on Emotion: Pathos
Using Humor
Using Arguments Based on Emotion
Examples from the text:
You can slip humor into an argument to put readers at ease, making them more open to your proposal. (pg.48)
Use humor to make a point, to deal with sensitive issues or to admit mistakes. (pg.49)
The most powerful form of emotional argument: ridicule - humor aimed at a particular target. (pg.50)
Spend some time early in your writing or designing process thinking about how you want readers to feel as they consider your persuasive claims. (pg.50)
Writers and journalists routinely use human-interest stories to give presence to issues or arguments. (pg. 50)
Use a particular incident to evoke sympathy, understanding, outrage, or amusement. (pg.50)
Emotional Appeals - making decisions based on our feelings (shopping)
Ex. Rent funky apartments or buy worn-out cars because we fall in love with a small detail. (pg.38)
Ridicule - Samuel Jackson's stinging and humorous put-downs
Ex. "Your manuscript is both good and original, but the part that is good, is not original, and the part that is original is not good." (pg. 50)
Human-Interest Stories - the effect a story can have on readers
Ex. What emotional appeals might persuade meat eaters to consider a vegan diet - or vice versa? (pg.50)
Ex. Would sketches of stage props on a website persuade people to buy a season ticket to the theater, or would you spark more interests by featuring pictures of costumed performers? (pg.50)
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