Pathos, ethos and logos: Aristotle's rhetoric

Pathos, ethos and logos: Aristotle's rhetoric

We try to be persuasive when we present arguments, whether oral or written.The public must understand our point of view, even before accepting our arguments.This is rhetoric, in which others take our point of view. And who better than Aristotle to explain rhetoric? The studies of Plato's student focused on rhetoric. Thus, the rhetoric of Aristotle is composed of three categories: the pathos, the ethos and the logos.

Pathos, ethos and logos are the three fundamental pillars of Aristotle's rhetoric.These three categories are considered today as different ways to convince an audience about a particular subject, belief or conclusion. Each category is different from the others. Nevertheless, knowing all three will help us to engage the audiences we are addressing.

The pathos of Aristotle

pathos means "suffering and experience". This is reflected in Aristotle's rhetoric by the speaker's or writer's ability to evoke emotions and feelings in his audience. Thepathos is associated with emotion. He calls to sympathize with the public. To stimulate his imagination. Thepathos therefore seeks to empathize with the public.The values, beliefs and understanding that the argumentator uses are involved and communicated to the public through a story.

Thepathos is very much used when the arguments that are going to be exposed are controversial.Since these arguments usually lack logic, success will lie in the ability to empathize with the public. For example, in an argument against legal abortion, vivid words can be used to describe babies and the innocence of a new life, so as to evoke sadness and concern on the part of the audience.

The ethos of Aristotle

The second category, the ethos, means character. The term comes from the wordethikos. It means moral and show moral personality. For speakers and writers, have the credibility and the similarity with the audience that constitutes theethOs. The speaker must be trustworthy and respected as an expert on the theme. It is not enough to make logical reasoning for the arguments to be effective. Content must be reliably presented to become credible.

According to Aristotle's rhetoric, theethos is particularly important to generate public interest.The tone and style of the message will be the key. In addition, the character will be influenced by the reputation of the argumentator, regardless of the message. For example, addressing an audience as equals, rather than as passive characters, increases the likelihood that people will become actively involved in listening to arguments.

The logos of Aristotle

logos means word, speech or reason. In persuasion,thelogos is the logical reasoningbehind the speaker's statements. Thelogos refers to any attempt to appeal to the intellect, to logical arguments. So that logical reasoning has two forms: deductive and inductive.

Deductive reasoning holds that "if A is true and B is true, the intersection of A and B must be true as well". For example, the logos argument of "women like oranges" would be "women like fruits" and "oranges are fruits". Inductive reasoning also uses premises. The conclusion is, however, only an expectation. It is not necessarily true because of its subjective nature. For example, the phrases "Pedro loves comedy" and "this film is a comedy" can reasonably lead us to conclude that "Pedro will love this film".

The rhetoric of Aristotle

Thelogos was Aristotle's favorite argumentative technique. However,daily arguments are more dependent onpathos and ofethos. The combination of the three is used to get the most convincing tests. This combination is the center of the strategy in the debate teams. The people who dominate them have the ability to convince others to do something. Or buy a product or service.

The pathos still seems to have a greater influence at the moment. Populist discourses, which seek more to move than to provide logical arguments, seem to be easier to develop. The same thing happens with false news orfake news. Some even lack logic. But the public accepts them because of its great capacity for empathy.Being aware of these three strategies of Aristotle's rhetoric can help us better understand these messages that only try to convince us with sophistry.


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