The Differences Among Logos, Ethos, and Pathos and Their Uses for the Research Presentation
Ethos is Greek for "character" and "ethic" is derived from ethos. Ethos consists of convincing your audience that you have good character and you are credible therefore your words can be trusted. Ethos must be established from the start of your talk or the audience will not accept what you say. In fact, ethos is often established before your presentation, for example, you may be the CEO of the company you're presenting to so you're already perceived as a specialist.
For example, many of us have seen the ASPCA commercials that use photographs of injured puppies, or sad-looking kittens, and slow, depressing music to emotionally persuade their audience to donate money.On the one hand, when an author makes an ethical appeal, he or she is attempting to tap into the values or ideologies that the audience holds, for example, patriotism, tradition, justice, equality, dignity for all humankind, self preservation, or other specific social, religious or philosophical values (Christian values, socialism, capitalism, feminism, etc.). These values can sometimes feel very close to emotions, but they are felt on a social level rather than only on a personal level. When an author evokes the values that the audience cares about as a way to justify or support his or her argument, we classify that as ethos. The audience will feel that the author is making an argument that is “right” (in the sense of moral “right”-ness, i.e., “My argument rests upon that values that matter to you. Therefore, you should accept my argument”). This first part of the definition of ethos, then, is focused on the audience’s values.
The one who puts more cash on the scales… wins” (01.15.04). It is understood, of course, that this statement was meant to appeal to the viewers’ deep-seated mistrust towards the country’s state-institutions, as such that are being affected by corruption. This is because people tend to assume that the statements, which correlate with what happened to be the essence of their unconscious anxieties, are true by definition (Lamb 109). Nevertheless, even though that there can be only a few doubts, as to the documentary’s rhetorical effectiveness, it would be entirely inappropriate to suggest that there are no discursive drawbacks to how film creators argue their case. For example, one of the main ideas, promoted by the film, is that there are objective prerequisites for the current dynamics in America’s food-market to be what they are – specifically, the fact that, as time goes on, the gap between the poor and the rich in this country continues to widen. Moreover, the number of impoverished people keeps on growing rather drastically, which in turn implies that the food-producers specifically can provide consumers with particularly cheap food-items, which should be seen as the foremost precondition for them to remain commercially competitive: “To eat well in this country costs money… and some people don’t have it” (01.27.32). Therefore, there is very little sense in the documentary’s concluding remark: “People have to start demanding good wholesome food” (1.29.19). Those that have the means do not need to ‘demand’ organic food – they just buy it. Alternatively, regardless of how strongly poor people would be willing to ‘demand’ healthy foods, they will still not going to get any, simply because they cannot afford it – pure and simple. Therefore, I cannot say that the film did convince me to start ‘thinking organic.’
Not only is it not sufficient on its own, but it is no more important than either of the two other pillars. He argued that all three persuasive appeals are necessary.
Connors, Robert. “The Differences between Speech and Writing: Ethos, Pathos, and Logos.” College Composition and Communication 30.3 (1979): 285-290. Print.
Freund47.“Food, Inc.” Online video clip. Veoh. 2012. Web.
Lamb, Brenda. “Rhetoric.” English Journal 87.1(1998): 108-109. Print.
Micheli, Raphaël. “Emotions as Objects of Argumentative Constructions”. Argumentation 24. 1 (2010): 1-17. Print.
Oring, Elliott. “Legendry and the Rhetoric of Truth.” Journal of American Folklore 121.480 (2008): 127-166. Print.