Ethos • what the audience sees in the speaker • appeal based on the character of the speaker • is about how the speaker or author presents himself or herself. In other words, what are the speaker's qualifications for making this argument?
May be affected by: • tone of voice, gesture, stories told (or untold), institutional roles, reputation • Is he humble, sarcastic, arrogant, scientific, etc. We make judgments all the time about people's ethos.
What is the Difference? Think about going into your doctor’s office and seeing a medical degree from Harvard University versus seeing a degree from a no-name university.
The same is true about an author of a piece of writing. The clues are more subtle but they are there if you look for them.
3 Categories of Ethos to help develop high ethos: • phronesis - practical skills & wisdom • arete - virtue, goodness • eunoia - goodwill towards the audience.
3 violations of Ethos: • The speaker has a direct interest in the outcome of the debate (e.g. a person pleading innocence of a crime) • The speaker has a vested interest or ulterior motive in the outcome of the debate • The speaker has no expertise (e.g. a lawyer giving a speech on space flight carries less gravity than an astronaut giving the same speech).
appeals to the audience’s sense of identity, self-interest, and/or emotion how the audience feels about what the speaker is saying or doing Pathos
May be affected by: • word choice, urgency of rhythm, shock-, fear-, and/or pity-inducing examples • How is the audience (of which you are a part) being manipulated? *Think: is the speaker/writer simply “playing” me?
Ways to accomplish Pathos: • by metaphor or storytelling • by a general passion in the delivery and an overall amount of emotional items in the text of the speech, or in writing.
If the writing is a story, and the story is very sad and you are sitting at home crying while you read it, are you going to be more sympathetic to the argument that is being made?
Commercials such as those put out by MADD or SADD are heartwrenching when they show pictures or talk about children who were killed by drunk drivers.
Of course. You can still believe the argument is valid, but it is important to realize that your emotions are being manipulated.
Other areas where this happens is during very patriotic speeches in which you can almost imagine hearing the National Anthem playing in the background.
If you can imagine music being played in the background when you are reading or listening to a speech, pathos is probably involved.
The argument may or may not be valid, but you are being manipulated by your emotions. Be suspicious of these arguments in general because our emotions are funny things; they can move us to accept a very illogical argument.
Fear and Pity • Within pathos, Aristotle makes a distinction between fear appeals and pity appeals. • He classifies as fear appeals those which suggest or state physical harm or death, loss, or deprivation of freedom. • He classifies as pity appeals those which suggest or state "that someone or something helpless is being harmed."
Logos • Appeal based on logic/reason • The reason and structure in arguments • Often involves numbers, polls, and other mathematical or scientific data • Does not just mean logic.
May be affected by: • use of comparisons, factual evidence (NUMBERS), arrangement of ideas to reach conclusions * *Think--does the logic follow? Are the statistics skewed or unrepresentative?
Advantages of logos: • Data is hard to manipulate, so it is harder to argue against a logos argument. • Logos makes the speaker look prepared and knowledgeable to the audience, enhancing ethos.
Logos • Two types of appeal to reason: • deductive • inductive
Deductive argument--begins with a generalization and moves toward a specific conclusion. A famous example used by Aristotle himself: • All men are mortal. (Generalization) • Socrates was a man. (Specific case) • Socrates is mortal. (Conclusion about the specific case)
Inductive argument-begins with pieces of specific evidence and draws a general conclusion. • ex. Senator Kennedy argued, “in Georgia, blacks who killed whites received the death penalty 16.7 percent of the time, while whites who killed blacks received the death penalty only 4.2 percent of the time.”
Common Ground • Logos also is about where the author and audience members meet. Where is the common ground between the two? • Both sides of a discussion must have common ground on which they can build in order to have a discussion.
Hot Topic Issues • Major issues, such as abortion or capital punishment, are problematic issues to discuss because neither side can find any common ground with the other side. • Therefore, no discussion can take place. These issues will never be resolved between the two binaries because no common ground exists between absolute black and white issues.
Aristotle's artistic proofs are thousands of years old, however, they still have practical uses. They (1) allow the audience to understand public speeches at a greater depth and (2) allow the speaker to shape and mold her or his speech to one of success. In addition, according to Aristotle, they define the study of rhetoric. I find Aristotle's artistic proofs to be one of the most useful contributions to the study of rhetoric.
Sources • https://segue.atlas.uiuc.edu/index.php?&site=scfoley2§ion=4180&action=site • http://otal.umd.edu/~mikej/supplements/ethoslogospathos.html