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Chemistry LibreTexts

Pathos, Ethos, and Logos

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  • Pathos, Ethos, & Logos

    1. ETHOS:  Convincing by the author's character or trustworthiness.

    2. PATHOS:  Persuading by appealing to the reader's (or listener's) emotions.

    3. LOGOS:  Persuading by the use of reasoning.

    rhetorical design image from

    What this means is that whenever you write (or speak) to others, your character, their emotions and your arguments determine whether your message is effective or not. You may have great arguments, but your character may cause the audience to doubt you or their emotional state may lead them to ignore your reasons.  On the other hand, your argument might be total bunk, but your audience so trusts your character that they believe you anyway...  All three means of persuasion must be maximized to persuade an audience -- whether an audience of one or one million.

    There are, then, these three means of effecting persuasion.  The person who is to be in command of them must, it is clear, be able (1) to reason logically, (2) to understand human character and goodness in their various forms, and (3) to understand the emotions-that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited.

    Review the video below to discover more about ethos, pathos, and logos.