Aristotle’s "ingredients for persuasion" – otherwise known as "appeals" – are known by the names of ethos, pathos, and logos. They are all means of persuading others to take a particular point of view.
Meanings of Ethos, Pathos and Logos
Ethos, pathos and logos each have a different meaning:
- Ethos is an appeal to ethics, and it is a means of convincing someone of the character or credibility of the persuader.
- Pathos is an appeal to emotion, and is a way of convincing an audience of an argument by creating an emotional response.
- Logos is an appeal to logic, and is a way of persuading an audience by reason.
Examples of Ethos, Pathos and Logos
Here are some examples of ethos, pathos, and logos.
Appeals to Ethos
- "As a doctor, I am qualified to tell you that this course of treatment will likely generate the best results."
- "My three decades of experience in public service, my tireless commitment to the people of this community, and my willingness to reach across the aisle and cooperate with the opposition, make me the ideal candidate for your mayor."
- "The veterinarian says that an Australian shepherd will be the perfect match for our active lifestyle."
- "If his years as a Marine taught him anything, it’s that caution is the best policy in this sort of situation."
- "You know me – I’ve taught Sunday School at your church for years, babysat your children, and served as a playground director for many summers."
- "Our expertise in roofing contracting is evidenced not only by our 100 years in the business and our staff of qualified technicians, but in the decades of satisfied customers who have come to expect nothing but the best."
- "He is a forensics and ballistics expert for the federal government – if anyone’s qualified to determine the murder weapon, it’s him."
- "Based on the dozens of archaeological expeditions I’ve made all over the world, I am confident that those potsherds are Mesopotamian in origin."
- "If my age doesn’t convince you that my opinion matters, at least consider that I am your grandfather and I love you dearly."
- "Doctors all over the world recommend this type of treatment."
- "If you’re still unsure, please consider that my advanced degree and field work speak for themselves."
Appeals to Pathos
- "If we don’t move soon, we’re all going to die! Can’t you see how dangerous it would be to stay?"
- "I’m not just invested in this community – I love every building, every business, every hard-working member of this town."
- "There’s no price that can be placed on peace of mind. Our advanced security systems will protect the well-being of your family so that you can sleep soundly at night."
- "Where would we be without this tradition? Ever since our forefathers landed at Plymouth Rock, we’ve celebrated Thanksgiving without fail, making more than cherished recipes. We’ve made memories."
- "They’ve worked against everything we’ve worked so hard to build, and they don’t care who gets hurt in the process. Make no mistake, they’re the enemy, and they won’t stop until we’re all destroyed."
- "Don’t be the last person on the block to have their lawn treated – you don’t want to be the laughing stock of your community!"
- "You should consider another route. I heard that that street is far more dangerous and ominous at night than during the daytime."
- "You’ll make the right decision because you have something that not many people do: you have heart."
- "After years of this type of disrespect from your boss, countless hours wasted, birthdays missed… it’s time that you took a stand."
- "Better men than us have fought and died to preserve this great nation. Now is our turn to return the favor. For God and country, gentlemen!"
- "You will never be satisfied in life if you don’t seize this opportunity. Do you want to live the rest of your years yearning to know what would have happened if you just jumped when you had the chance?"
Appeals to Logos
- "The data is perfectly clear: this investment has consistently turned a profit year-over-year, even in spite of market declines in other areas."
- "Ladies and gentlemen of the jury: we have not only the fingerprints, the lack of an alibi, a clear motive, and an expressed desire to commit the robbery… We also have video of the suspect breaking in. The case could not be more open and shut."
- "It’s a matter of common sense that people deserve to be treated equally. The Constitution calls it ‘self-evident.’ Why, then, should I have been denied a seat because of my disability?"
- "More than one hundred peer-reviewed studies have been conducted over the past decade, and none of them suggests that this is an effective treatment for hair loss."
- "History has shown time and again that absolute power corrupts absolutely."
- "Private demand for the product has tapered off for the past three years, and this year’s sales figures are at an all-time low. It’s time to research other options."
- "The algorithms have been run in a thousand different ways, and the math continues to check out."
- "In 25 years of driving the same route, I haven’t seen a single deer."
- "He has a track record of success with this company, culminating in some of our most acclaimed architecture to date and earning us Firm of the Year nine times in a row."
- "You don’t need to jump off a bridge to know that it’s a bad idea. Why then would you need to try drugs to know if they’re damaging? That’s plain nonsense."
- "Research compiled by analysts from NASA, as well as organizations from five other nations with space programs, suggests that a moon colony is viable with international support."
With these examples and when you construct your own arguments or appeals, you can give them the appropriate name in the future.