Aristotles Rhetorical Triangle Essay

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Aristotles Rhetorical Triangle Essay

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How to Identify Ethos, Logos and Pathos by Shmoop

These three terms, along with kairos and telos , were used by Aristotle to help explain how rhetoric functions. In ancient Greece, these terms corresponded with basic components that all rhetorical situations have. Today, many people may discuss the logos qualities of a text to refer to how strong the logic or reasoning of the text is. But logos more closely refers to the structure and content of the text itself. Today, many people may discuss ethos qualities of a text to refer to how well authors portray themselves.

Telos is a term Aristotle used to explain the particular purpose or attitude of a speech. Not many people use this term today in reference to rhetorical situations; nonetheless, it is instructive to know that early rhetorical thinkers like Aristotle actually placed much emphasis on speakers having a clear telos. Kairos is a term that refers to the elements of a speech that acknowledge and draw support from the particular setting, time, and place that a speech occurs. Though not as commonly known as logos , ethos , and pathos , the term kairos has been receiving wider renewed attention among teachers of composition since the mids.

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos. Ethos is often conveyed through tone and style of the message and through the way the writer or speaker refers to differing views. Perhaps the most common way of conveying a pathetic appeal is through narrative or story, which can turn the abstractions of logic into something palpable and present. The values, beliefs, and understandings of the writer are implicit in the story and conveyed imaginatively to the reader.

Writing Arguments. Logos: the logic used to support a claim induction and deduction ; can also be the facts and statistics used to help support the argument. Pathos: the emotional or motivational appeals; vivid language, emotional language and numerous sensory details. In order to be a more effective writer, you must understand these three terms. This site will help you understand their meanings and it will also show you how to make your writing more persuasive.

It also has some fantastic example web sites that use ethos, logos, and pathos. I highly recommend reading it at the following web site. We are naturally more likely to be persuaded by a person who, we think, has personal warmth, consideration of others, a good mind and solid learning. Often we know something of the character of speakers and writers ahead of time. They come with a reputation or extrinsic ethos. People whose education, experience, and previous performances qualify them to speak on a certain issue earn the special extrinsic ethos of the authority.

This impression created by the text itself is the intrinsic ethos. Institutions, public roles and publications also project an ethos or credibility. And we usually assume that a person selected for a position of responsibility or honor is more credible than someone without official sanction. These expectations about credibility and ethos are occasionally disappointed. Many rhetoricians over the centuries have considered pathos the strongest of the appeals, though this view of persuasion is rarely mentioned without a lament about the power of emotion to sway the mind. Appeals to our sense of identity and self interest exploit common biases; we naturally bend in the direction of what is advantageous to us, what serves our interests or the interests of any group we believe ourselves a part of.

Even when advantage is not an issue, writers who belong to groups we identify with, or create groups we can belong to, often seem more compelling. We also naturally find more persuasive the speaker or writer who flatters us especially indirectly instead of insulting us. Thus skillful writers create a positive image in their words of the audience they are addressing, an image their actual readers can identify with.

Especially powerful are devices that create an identity between the writer and reader so that the speaker almost seems to be the audience addressing itself. The emotions also strongly assist, perhaps sometimes determine, persuasion. Direct appeals to the reader to feel an emotion e. Thus descriptions of painful or pleasant things work on the emotions. If, for example, we usually feel anger at someone who, we believe, has received benefits without deserving them, then the arguer who wants to make us angry with someone will make a case that person was rewarded unfairly.

There are many ways to describe the support provided in an argument, but a sample way to begin is to consider all the premises the author seems to supply. These can be scattered throughout the argument and expressed indirectly, so identifying premises is a judgment call in itself. Next ask which of the premises are presented as objects of agreement that the arguer considers as given, elements of the argument taken for granted. Objects of agreement are basically either facts or values. Of course, the facts may not be facts and readers may not agree with the values assumed. Some of the premises will be supported further, but basically every argument has got to come down to certain objects of agreement that it presents as shared between arguer and audience.

You can also classify premises into the following categories. Are they arguments based on definition? In other words, does the arguer make claims about the nature of things, about what terms mean, what features things have? Does the arguer make analogies or comparisons? Does he or she cite parallel cases? Are there appeals to cause and consequences? Arguing from consequence is especially common when policy issues are debated. Does the arguer rely on testimony or authority by citing the received opinions of experts? Or does the author create some kind of authoritative reference group, citing public opinion on what most people think as support for his or her position?

There are three artistic proofs that we can create: the appeals from ethos, pathos, and logos. Without the ethos of the good name and handshake, current forms of cultural ethos often fall to puffed-up resumes and other papers. In a culture where outward appearances have virtually subsumed or taken over the appeal from inner moral and intellectual character, the appeal from ethos becomes both problematic and important. This kind of persuasion comes from what a person says and how a person says it, not from any prejudice pre-judging of the author. False statements and bad advice come from the lack of any of these elements.

Exhibiting these three aspects of character in your discourse can play a large part in gaining credibility for your ideas.

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