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Powers of Persuasion: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

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Clare Chatfield

on 21 January 2016

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Transcript of Powers of Persuasion: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Powers of Persuasion:
Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Rhetorical strategies that all of us use ...
every single day.
Pathos = Feeling
Logos = Logic or Reason
How do I use ethos, pathos, and logos
every single day?

I don't even know what these things are!

Ethos = Ethical or Moral
An ethical or moral argument
Comes from the Greek word ethikos, meaning moral or showing moral character
The speaker or writer must demonstrate moral credibility to the audience to be persuasive.
When you are persuaded by pathos, you accept a claim based on how it makes you
feel,
without fully analyzing how valid the claim is.

You may be persuaded by
fear, love, patriotism, hatred, joy, love, guilt.

The use of pathos can be extremely
effective--and also
manipulative
.

Appeals to pathos touch a nerve and compel people not only to listen, but also to
take action.
Logos refers to any attempt to appeal to the intellect.
Logos appeals to the left side of our brain. We find certain patterns, conventions, and methods of reasoning to be convincing and persuasive.
We rely on facts to make decisions.
Numbers, polls, and statistics are also examples of the persuasive use of logic.
For example ...
... when a trusted doctor gives you advice, you may not understand all the medical reasoning behind the advice, but you follow it any way because you believe the doctor knows what s/he is talking about. You trust him or her!
She has ethos!
Ethos = Ethics:
Refers to the trustworthiness of the speaker/writer
Ethos is an effective persuasive strategy because when we believe the speaker does not intend to do us harm (
when we in fact think s/he wants to help us!
), we are more willing to listen to what s/he has to say.
When a judge comments
on legal matters, audiences
tend to listen because it is
the job of a judge to know
the nature of past legal cases.
English words:
em
path
y, sym
path
y,
path
etic, anti
path
y
World War II poster
On your sheet, explain how this
World War II poster uses pathos.
Pathos is the use of emotional appeal.

Both words and pictures can achieve this appeal.
More appeals to pathos: Who can say no to these faces?
English words:
ethical, ethics
English words: logic, logical
The old Mac vs. PC ads used logos because they give specific reasons why people should own a Mac rather than a PC
These ads used a type of logos called
deductive reasoning.

The deductive reasoning in these ads went like this:
"I am familiar with and like using a PC. A Mac can operate the same programs a PC can. I like Mac's too. Some added bonuses of using a Mac is that it is resistant to viruses and has more graphic capability than a PC. I will probably like owning a Mac even more than I like owning a PC."
See the use of logos.
Notice, too, that
pathos
is also used in these ads. The commercials make use of humor--and also appeal to our sense that Macs are "cooler" than PCs, implying that if we use Macs, we too will be "cooler."
Do you think the ads use
ethos
at all?
How?
Think about your favorite commercial.
What do you like about it?
What makes it your favorite?
Does it make you want to buy that product?

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasion
The history of rhetoric and the concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos began in Greece.
Argument and Persuasion: Warm-up
Aristotle was a famous Greek philosopher. Literally translated from the Greek, the word "philosopher" means "one who loves wisdom."
phil
+
soph
+
er
= philosopher

love
+
wisdom
+
one who
= philosopher
Who was Aristotle?
He was a famous Greek philosopher who studied the art of persuasion.

Aristotle was a student of Plato
(author of The Republic)
, who was himself a student of Socrates
, whose ideas about learning and democracy shape our thinking today
.

Aristotle taught Alexander the Great, a famous conqueror and leader, how to effectively argue and perform a public speech.
In about 300 B.C.E., Aristotle wrote a book entitled
"Art of Rhetoric." In his book, he identified
the three methods of persuasion:
ethos, pathos, logos.
This is a copy of an English translation. Aristotle of course wrote it in Greek.
If an advertisement or a commercial succeeds in making a person buy something, it has been PERSUASIVE.
Greek writing looks like this:
The Greek alphabet begins with the letters
alpha
and
beta.
Sound familiar?
Logos is arguably the noblest (highest) of the persuasive strategies because humans like to think we use REASON when we make decisions about buying things, or voting for people, or taking action.
Full transcript