How to win an argument “The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.” Joseph Joubert Rhetoric is the art of using language to communicate effectively. It involves three audience appeals: logos, pathos, and ethos. From ancient Greece to the late 19th Century, it was a central part of Western education, filling the need to train public speakers and writers to move audiences to action with arguments. Persuasive strategies • Logos – Logical appeal • Pathos – Emotional appeal • Ethos – Ethical appeal I. Logos – Logical Appeal Logic, reasoning, and evidence are the hallmarks of logos, loosely translatable to “logic.” 1. Writers and speakers appeal to logos, or reason, by offering clear, rational ideas. • Logical appeal petitions the audience’s mind rather than the audience’s heart. I. Logos – Logical Appeal 2. A second tool to employ in persuading an audience through logos is a counterargument. The three parts of a counterargument are: a. Acknowledging- the writer lets the reader know he or she is aware of the opposing position (concession) b. Accommodating- the writer validates objections to his or her arguments (validation) c. Refuting- the writer proposes his or her objections to the reader’s position by asserting that an opponent’s arguments are flawed and arguing against them. (debate) I. Logos – Logical Appeal 3. A logical fallacy is a flaw in logic. Examples: – If a student studies for 30 minutes, then I should make a passing grade. – If a student has an 80 average in English II and makes a 100 on a quiz, then his/her grade will improve. I. Logos – Logical Appeal 4. Logical reasoning will rely on… • Facts as evidence • Research • Tradition (precedent) • Authorities • Cause and effect relationships • Metaphors II. Pathos - Emotional Appeal • Passion, not logic, stirs most people to take a stance. • Writers employ the emotional appeal, pathos, which, in Greek, loosely translates to “pain” to stir their audience’s emotions. • Wise writers must evoke their audience’s emotions judiciously and fairly; otherwise, the appeal is seen as sentimentality or melodramatic. II. Pathos - Emotional Appeal 1. Pathos uses a more relaxed tone and appeals to the basic needs that all people have: a. Physical needs – life and health of the body b. Psychological needs – a person’s need for love and self-respect c. Social needs – the need for freedom, status, power, and acceptance II. Pathos - Emotional Appeal 2. Words are carefully selected for their connotative value rather than their denotative meaning 3. Appeals to pity and compassion 4. Usually includes vivid, concrete description and figurative language. 5. Photographs and other visual images may strengthen the pathos-based argument III. Ethos – Ethical Appeal • Ethos in Greek loosely translates to “character.” • In effective argumentation, the presenter must not only possess good character but also argue in ways that reveal that good character. III. Ethos – Ethical Appeal 1. The audience should see presenters as people very much like themselves (or the way they ideally would like to be.) a. Therefore, presenters must establish credibility, (trustworthiness), with the audience. b. Skilled persuasive writers will avoid inflammatory language. c. Inflammatory language - language that provokes the audience or language that makes the audience feel attacked III. Ethos – Ethical Appeal 2. Makes qualified claims 3. Notes exceptions to rules, using terms such as perhaps, some, and many. 4. Restates opposing view(s) accurately and fairly 5. Associates self with relevant authorities and makes relevant allusions 6. Uses first-person plural pronouns, we and us, to establish a relationship between the writer and reader.