Ethos, Logos, Pathos: elements of argument
(Ethics) = ethical appeals – the
piece of writing or speech impresses the audience that the speaker is of sound sense, high moral character and
benevolence (cares about the outcome and its effects on others). Ethos are based on widely accepted values or
America has a long-standing tradition in which every taxpayer is obliged to support
the education of our young people. If it were not for the help of all taxpayers, our young people would not get the future
Ethos inspires confidence. Sometimes a person’s reputation will automatically exert ethos, i.e.
Dr. Martin Luther King.
(Logic or Reason) – logical appeals
– appeal to reason – consist of facts, examples and well-reasoned arguments
Because 85 percent of the taxpayers are senior citizens and do not have school-age
children, they should not be expected to pay for academic expenses. The school budget should be cut.
Pathos – emotional appeal – consist of language and
stories that arouse strong feelings
Senior taxpayers are sick and tired of seeing their taxes used to support expensive
nonacademic programs like wrestling.
4. Logical, Ethical, Emotional Follow Up: Barack Obama’s Inaugural Address
Look at the support in the article for major claims and ask, “Is there any claim that appears to be weak and unsupported?
Which one and why?”
Do you trust this author? Do you think he is deceptive? Why or why not?
Emotional: Does this piece affect your emotions? Which
parts? Do your emotions conflict with your logical interpretation of the arguments?