Aristotle in Regards to Ethos and Pathos

1. Aristotle was a Greek philosopher who believed in the power of persuasion. He proclaimed the speaker should be ethical and possess good character. In essence, he stressed that if a person lacked credibility, their message would be ineffective.


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Discuss your understanding of “ethos” and share an example of a situation when you witnessed it being used effectively to “persuade” others (e.g., employer, politician, family member, etc.). You can also share an example from film or television. Next, specify the persuasive elements that made this person’s “ethos” impact. Lastly, share an example of someone who lacked “ethos” and explain why.


2. Unethical situations occur daily, and they are often “too close for comfort.”


Aristotle believed appeals to one’s emotions in persuasion could sway audiences, either positively or negatively. Discuss your understanding of “pathos” and apply it to a 21st-century scenario where you witnessed it being abused. Specify persuasive elements that were used to sway the audience (e.g., stakeholders in a firm, etc.). Next, describe a situation where “pathos” was used ethically in a business setting.

Ethos = Credibility – when someone gets credit for something they did, whether it’s negative or positive

Pathos = Appeals to emotion in persuasion – controlling someone’s decision by using your emotions.

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