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a common sense of identity with their audience, then the rhetor is using a pathetic appeal. So if that college English professor above mentions having played basketball in high school and convinces the audience that she or he was pretty good, then not only does that fact strengthen therhetor's ethos, it also makes a pathetic appeal. (This is also why so many politicans will open their speeches with "My fellow Americans..." This is why many of them use the phrase "My friends..." so much when speaking to audiences.) "Pathos" most often refers to an attempt to engage an audience's emotions. Think about the different emotions people are capable of feeling:they include love, pity, sorrow, affection, anger, fear, greed, lust, and hatred. If a rhetor tries to
Williams 5make an audience feel emotions in response to what is being said or written, then they are using pathos.Example Let's say a rhetor is trying to convince an audience of middle-class Americans to donate money to a hurricane relief fund. The rhetor can make pathetic appeals to an audience's feelings of love, pity, fear, and perhaps anger. (The extent to which any of these emotions will be successfully engaged will vary from audience to audience.)o"Love" will be felt if the audience can be made to believe in their fundamental connections to other human beings.o"Pity" will be felt if the plight of the homeless hurricane victim can be made very vivid to the audience.o"Fear" will be felt if the audience can be made to imagine what they would feel like in that homeless victim's place.o"Anger" will be felt if the audience realizes how little has been done by those whoare resonsible for helping.If the rhetor works all of these things together properly (and also doesn't screw up ethos and logos), then the audience is more likely to be persuaded. Mistakes to avoid The emotions we're talking about here are emotions that might be felt by the audience, not emotions felt bythe rhetor. If a rhetor is clearly angry about the topic being addressed, for example, that should not be taken as a pathetic. However, if the rhetor is clearly trying to make the audience feel angry, then that should, in fact, be considered a pathetic appeal. And whether or not the audience does, in fact, feel the emotions in question, the observer can still recognize when the rhetor is using a pathetic appeal. Sometimes, the pathetic appealis weak (meaning it probably won't succeed). Sometimes, the pathetic appeal is strong (meaning it probably will succeed).LogosThe use of logos is called a "logical appeal." A statement does not have to be considered logical to be a logical appeal. As an observer, you can recognize that the rhetor is attemptingto use logos to persuade the audience, but that recognition doesn't mean the rhetor is succeeding. We use the term logos to describe what kind of rhetorical appeal is being made, not to evaluate whether or not an appeal makes sense to us (as observers) or to the audience being addressed.