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What is ethos, pathos, Aristotle logos

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What is ethos, pathos, Aristotle logos


In a PROFESSOR we are going to explain the meaning of ethos, pathos and logosof Aristotle, or the three forms of persuasion, namely: those based on credibility (ethos), in the emotions and in the psychology (pathos), and in the reasoning (logos), and that the stagirite presents in Rhetoric. In this work, of great historical influence, the basic pillars of the art of persuasion or rhetoric are exposed, which for Aristotle, unlike the Sophists, far from being a weapon of manipulation and control, it was closely related to the logic and dialectics. If you want to know more about the ethos, pathos, logos of Aristotle, continue reading this lesson from a TEACHER.

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  1. Ethos, pathos and logos: Aristotle's method of persuading
  2. Meaning of Aristotle's ethos
  3. Meaning of the Aristotelian pathos
  4. Logos in Aristotle's Rhetoric

Ethos, pathos and logos: Aristotle's method of persuading.

Aristotle speaks of four stages of rhetoric for the construction of discourse, which are:

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Intellectio, inventio, dispositio and elocutio. Well, the second phase, the inventio, is essential when it comes to finding arguments, and it consists of finding those elements that refer to the discourse, those concepts that must be included in each of the parts. It is a structural scheme of what the discourse will be.

The stagyrite distinguishes three types of arguments:

  1. The first is based on the credibility of the transmitter (moral condition or auctoritas): ethos
  2. The second is based on the emotions of the receiver: pathos
  3. The third is based on the logic: logos

Of the arguments sought by reasoning, there are three classes: some that lie in the character of the speaker, others, in placing the listener in a certain state of mind, others, in short, in the same speech... ”(Aristotle, Rhetoric, I, 2)

From the above, Aristotle is going to make a classification of the elements that intervene in the ethical communication:

  1. Values: ethos
  2. Feelings: pathos
  3. Arguments: logos

For Aristotle, ethics is fundamental when arguing and would serve to bring together the 3 types of elements that are part argumentative discourse: because the art of arguing should not impede respect for the truth and for the emotions of the people.

When it comes to arguing, everyone tries to be persuasive, to convince others to think the same, and for this, you have to fulfill the three basic elements of Aristotle. If so, a person's capacity for conviction will be practically infallible and will undoubtedly help him to succeed in whatever he sets out to do. Let's see below how a good speech is built to convince and influence other people.

Meaning of Aristotle's ethos.

Arguments based on the ethos They are those that refer to the credibility of the issuer and are of a moral nature. Here, the skills of the speaker, his relationship with the listener, his authority, the confidence he inspires in the audience, etc. will come into play.

Good men we believe more fully and with less hesitation; This is generally true whatever the issue, and absolutely true where absolute certainty is impossible and opinions are divided.”.

It is clear that no one can be convinced if the receiver does not generate trust in others, that is, if they do not believe him. A good speech, perfectly argued, is worthless if the speaker is not credible.

Elements that intervene in the ethos

We can speak of three elements that intervene in the ethos:

  1. Knowledge on the subject in question or authority
  2. References to an authority
  3. Attitude or charisma: empathy, trust, security

Knowing well the topic to be discussed will be essential when arguing, and in the event that the receiver have some authority to talk about it, such as a title, for example, will give greater credibility to the affair. If you do not have that authority, you can always resort to citing sources that do. This point also contributes to increasing the degree of credibility of the speaker. Finally, it is necessary to have certain social skills, a certain attitude that awakens feelings of trust and respect in the public.

What is ethos, pathos, Aristotle logos - Meaning of Aristotle's ethos

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Meaning of the Aristotelian pathos.

In Aristotle's Rhetoric the pathos is the argument that topeel away feelings and emotions of people, in order to influence them to change their minds or think in the same way as the recipient. It is the typical technique used in trials and that is why we often talk about arguments pathetic.

But pathos, it also means suffering experience and in art, it refers to the emotion that the contemplation of a work of art provokes in the public. It appeals to the empathy of the receiver to the feelings that it awakens in him. This is why pathos is the most used argument when arguing, managing to impress the public, affect it, due to the degree of intimacy that surrounds the speech. This is where the values, beliefs and understanding of the receiver.

Elements involved in pathos

Different elements intervene in the constitution of a pathos:

  1. The vulnerability of the speaker. When the speaker opens his heart to his audience, he immediately awakens in this feelings of understanding, managing to empathize with it, because the speaker presents himself as more human.
  2. The stories. There is no doubt that stories are the best way to reach the receiver, to catch him, captivate him and get him to empathize with the sender. A true story or not, it is capable of awakening the most hidden feelings of people.
  3. Use metaphors or analogies. This is essential when the subject is complicated, since thanks to these resources, it is possible to explain difficult issues in a very simple and understandable way for all audiences.
What is ethos, pathos, Aristotle logos - Meaning of Aristotelian pathos

The logos in Aristotle's Rhetoric.

Logos means word, speech or reason, and in Rhetoric, it is the logical reasoning that is hidden behind each word pronounced by the issuer. Appeal to intelligence, to human reason and therefore, used to convince logical arguments, which can be in two ways: deductive and inductive.

In the RAristotle's etheric, logos was the argument he liked the most, although nowadays, techniques are used persuasive based on ethos or pathos, because through them it is easier to reach all classes of audiences. Logic is not always taken into account when making judgments and almost always, emotion is stronger than reason.

In fact, ethos or pathos is the type of argumentation most used by lawyers in trials, politicians or publicists. Their effectiveness is amply demonstrated, and especially in those people who do not have argumentative qualities.

Elements involved in the logos

  1. Statistics or graphs. Since the brain responds positively to the presence of one of these elements.
  2. Research, studies or experiments, that endorse the argument. A proof of them are the claims of the scientific community that are supported by the majority of the population.
  3. Show proven facts. Through the examples, it is possible to give greater credibility to the argument.

In Aristotle's rhetoric, pathos, ethos, and logos are the three pillars of the discursive argument, and in Currently, different modes of persuasion are considered, which are used to convince the public about some topic in concrete.

The total truth is never reached, nor is one ever totally estranged from".

If you want to read more articles similar to What is ethos, pathos, Aristotle logos, we recommend that you enter our category of Philosophy.


Aristotle (S IV a.c). Rhetoric. Ed. Alianza, 2014.

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