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Pathos (, ; plural: ''pathea'' or ''pathê''; , for "
suffering Suffering, or pain in a broad sense, may be an experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with the perception of harm or threat of harm in an individual. Suffering is the basic element that makes up the negative valence of affective ...

suffering
" or "
experience Experience refers to conscious , an English Paracelsian physician Consciousness, at its simplest, is " sentience or awareness of internal and external existence". Despite millennia of analyses, definitions, explanations and debates by philosoph ...

experience
" or "something that one undergoes," or "something that happens to one". In medicine it refers to a "failing," "illness", or "complaint". In
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...
it refers to "complaints of the soul". In its adjectival form: ''pathetic'' from ) appeals to the emotions of the audience and elicits
feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical sensation of touch through either experience or perception. The word is also used to describe other experiences, such as "Emotion, a feeling of warmth" and of sentience in general. In psychology ...

feeling
s that already reside in them. Pathos is a communication technique used most often in
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...
(in which it is considered one of the three
modes of persuasion The modes of persuasion, modes of appeal or rhetorical appeals (Greek: ''pisteis'') are strategies of rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities involving creative imagination to express ...
, alongside
ethos Ethos ( or ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

ethos
and
logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...

logos
), as well as in literature, film and other narrative art.
Emotion Emotions are psychological state A mental state is a state of mind that an agent is in. Most simplistically, a mental state is a mental condition. It is a relation that connects the agent with a proposition. Several of these states are a comb ...

Emotion
al appeal can be accomplished in many ways, such as the following: * by a
metaphor A metaphor is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of ...
or
storytelling Storytelling describes the social and cultural activity of sharing narrative, stories, sometimes with improvisation, theatre, theatrics or embellishment. Every culture has its own stories or narratives, which are shared as a means of entertainmen ...

storytelling
, commonly known as a
hook A hook is a tool A tool is an object that can extend an individual's ability to modify features of the surrounding environment. Although many animals use tool use by animals, simple tools, only human beings, whose use of stone tools dates ...
; * by passion in the delivery of the speech or writing, as determined by the audience; * by personal
anecdote An ''anecdote'' is a brief, revealing account of an individual person or an incident: "a story with a point," such as to communicate an abstract idea about a person, place, or thing through the concrete details of a short narrative or to character ...

anecdote
. Pathos tends to use "loaded" words that will get some sort of reaction. Examples could include "victim," in a number of different contexts. In certain situations, pathos may be described as a "guilt trip" based on the speaker trying to make someone in the audience or the entire audience feel guilty about something. An example would be "Well, you don't ''have'' to visit me, but I just really miss you and haven't seen you in so long."


Philosophy

In
Stoicism Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy Hellenistic philosophy is the period of Western philosophy Western philosophy encompasses the philosophical Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...
''pathos'' refers to "complaints of the soul". Succumbing to pathos is an internal event (i.e., in one's soul) that consists in an erroneous response to impressions external to it. This view of pathos, and the accompanying view that all pathos is to be extirpated (in order to achieve the state of ''
apatheia Apatheia ( el, ἀπάθεια; from ''a-'' "without" and ''pathos'' "suffering" or "passion"), in Stoicism, refers to a state of mind in which one is not disturbed by the passions (philosophy), passions. It is best translated by the word equanimit ...

apatheia
''), are related by Stoics to a specific picture of the nature of the soul, of psychological functioning, and of human action. A key feature of that picture is that succumbing to pathos is an error of reason - an intellectual mistake.
Epicureanism Epicureanism is a system of founded around 307 BC based upon the teachings of the . Epicureanism was originally a challenge to . Later its main opponent became . Few writings by Epicurus have survived. However, there are independent attestat ...
interpreted and placed ''pathos'' in much more colloquial means and situations, placing it in pleasure, and studying it in almost every facet in regards to pleasure, analyzing emotional specificity that an individual may feel or may need to undergo to appreciate said pathos.


Rhetoric


Aristotle’s text on pathos

In ''
Rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
'',
Aristotle Aristotle (; grc-gre, Ἀριστοτέλης ''Aristotélēs'', ; 384–322 BC) was a Greek philosopher A philosopher is someone who practices philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questio ...

Aristotle
identifies three artistic modes of persuasion, one of which is "awakening emotion (pathos) in the audience so as to induce them to make the judgment desired." In the first chapter, he includes the way in which "men change their opinion in regard to their judgment. As such, emotions have specific causes and effects" (Book 2.1.2–3).Aristotle; Bizzell, Patricia; Herzerberg, Bruce. (2001). ''On Rhetoric'' (Second ed). New York: Bedford/ St. Martin's. Aristotle identifies pathos as one of the three essential modes of proof by his statement that "to understand the emotions—that is, to name them and describe them, to know their causes and the way in which they are excited (1356a24–1356a25). Aristotle posits that, alongside pathos, the speaker must also deploy good
ethos Ethos ( or ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

ethos
in order to establish credibility (Book 2.1.5–9). Aristotle details what individual emotions are useful to a speaker (Book 2.2.27). In doing so, Aristotle focused on whom, toward whom, and why, stating that " is not enough to know one or even two of these points; unless we know all three, we shall be unable to arouse anger in anyone. The same is true of the other emotions." He also arranges the emotions with one another so that they may counteract one another. For example, one would pair sadness with happiness (Book 2.1.9). With this understanding, Aristotle argues for the
rhetor Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...
to understand the entire situation of goals and audiences to decide which specific emotion the speaker would exhibit or call upon in order to persuade the audience. Aristotle's theory of pathos has three main foci: the frame of mind the audience is in, the variation of emotion between people, and the influence the rhetor has on the emotions of the audience. Aristotle classifies the third of this trio as the ultimate goal of pathos. Similarly, Aristotle outlines the individual importance of persuasive emotions, as well as the combined effectiveness of these emotions on the audience. Antoine Braet did a re-examination of Aristotle's text and in this he examined the speaker's goal of the effect on the audience. Braet explains there are three perspectives of every emotion that a speaker is trying to arouse from the audience: the audience's condition, who the audience is feeling these emotions for, and the motive. Moreover, Aristotle pointedly discusses pleasure and pain in relation to the reactions these two emotions cause in an audience member. According to Aristotle, emotions vary from person to person. Therefore, he stresses the importance of understanding specific social situations in order to successfully utilize pathos as a mode of persuasion. Aristotle identifies the introduction and the conclusion as the two most important places for an emotional appeal in any persuasive argument.


Alternative views on pathos

Scholars have discussed the different interpretations of Aristotle's views of
rhetoric Rhetoric () is the art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and ...
and his philosophy. Some believe that Aristotle may not have even been the inventor of his famous persuasion methods. In the second chapter of ''
Rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
'', Aristotle's view on pathos changes from the use in discourse to the understanding of emotions and their effects. William Fortenbaugh pointed out that for the
Sophist A sophist ( el, σοφιστής, ''sophistes'') was a teacher in ancient Greece in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Sophists specialized in one or more subject areas, such as philosophy, rhetoric, music, athletics, and mathematics. They taught ...
Gorgias Gorgias; (483–375 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the f ...
, "Being overcome with emotion is analogous to rape." Aristotle opposed this view and created a systematic approach to pathos. Fortenbaugh argues that Aristotle's systematic approach to emotional appeals "depends upon correctly understanding the nature of individual emotions, upon knowing the conditions favorable to, the objects of, and the grounds for individual emotions". Modern philosophers were typically more skeptical of the use of emotions in communication, with political theorists such as
John Locke John Locke (; 29 August 1632 – 28 October 1704) was an English philosopher and physician, widely regarded as one of the most influential of Enlightenment Enlightenment, enlighten or enlightened may refer to: Age of Enlightenment * ...

John Locke
hoping to extract emotion from reasoned communication entirely. George Campbell presents another view unlike the common systematic approach of Aristotle. Campbell explored whether appeals to emotion or passions would be "an unfair method of persuasion," identifying seven circumstances to judge emotions: probability, plausibility, importance, proximity in time, connection of place, relations to the persons concerned, and interest in the consequences. The 84 BC ''
Rhetorica ad Herennium The ''Rhetorica ad Herennium'' (''Rhetoric for Herennius''), formerly attributed to Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Ac ...
'' book of an unknown author theorizes that the conclusion is the most important place in a persuasive argument to consider emotions such as mercy or hatred, depending on the nature of the persuasion. The "appeal to pity", as it is classified in ''Rhetorica ad Herennium'', is a means to conclude by reiterating the major premise of the work and tying while incorporating an emotional sentiment. The author suggests ways in which to appeal to the pity of the audience: "We shall stir pity in our hearers by recalling vicissitudes of future; by comparing the prosperity we once enjoyed with our present adversity; by entreating those whose pity we seek to win, and by submitting ourselves to their mercy." Additionally, the text impresses the importance of invoking kindness, humanity and sympathy upon the hearer. Finally, the author suggests that the appeal to pity be brief for "nothing dries more quickly than a tear."


Pathos before Aristotle

The concept of emotional appeal existed in rhetoric long before Aristotle's ''Rhetoric''. George A. Kennedy, a well-respected, modern-day scholar, identifies the appeal to emotions in the newly formed democratic court system before 400 BC in his book, ''The Art of Persuasion in Greece''.
Gorgias Gorgias; (483–375 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the f ...
, a Sophist who preceded Aristotle, was interested in the orator's emotional appeal as well. Gorgias believed the orator was able to capture and lead the audience in any direction they pleased through the use of emotional appeal. In the ''Encomium of Helen'', Gorgias states that a soul can feel a particular sentiment on account of words such as sorrow and pity. Certain words act as "bringers-on of pleasure and takers-off of pain. Furthermore, Gorgias equates emotional persuasion to the sensation of being overtaken by a drug: " r just as different drug draw off different humors from the body, and some put an end to disease and other to life, so too of discourses: some give pain, others delight, others terrify, others rouse the hearers to courage, and yet others by a certain vile persuasion drug and trick to soul."
Plato Plato ( ; grc-gre, Πλάτων ; 428/427 or 424/423 – 348/347 BC) was an Classical Athens, Athenian philosopher during the Classical Greece, Classical period in Ancient Greece, founder of the Platonist school of thought and the Platoni ...

Plato
also discussed emotional appeal in rhetoric. Plato preceded Aristotle and therefore laid the groundwork, as did other Sophists, for Aristotle to theorize the concept of pathos. In his dialogue ''
Gorgias Gorgias; (483–375 BC) was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language used in ancient Greece and the classical antiquity, ancient world from around 1500 BC to 300 BC. It is often roughly divided into the f ...
'', Plato discusses pleasure versus pain in the realm of pathos though in a (probably fictional) conversation between Gorgias and Socrates. The dialogue between several ancient rhetors that Plato created centers around the value of rhetoric, and the men incorporate aspects of pathos in their responses. Gorgias discredits pathos and instead promotes the use of
ethos Ethos ( or ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

ethos
in persuasion. In another of Plato's texts, '' Phaedrus'', his discussion of emotions is more pointed; however, he still does not outline exactly how emotions manipulate an audience. Plato discusses the danger of emotions in oratory. He argues that emotional appeal in rhetoric should be used as the means to an end and not the point of the discussion.


Contemporary pathos

George Campbell, a contributor to the Scottish Enlightenment, was one of the first rhetoricians to incorporate scientific evidence into his theory of emotional appeal. Campbell relied heavily on a book written by physician David Hartley, entitled '' Observations on Man''. The book synthesized emotions and neurology and introduced the concept that action is a result of impression. Hartley determined that emotions drive people to react to appeals based on circumstance but also passions made up of cognitive impulses. Campbell argues that belief and persuasion depend heavily on the force of an emotional appeal. Furthermore, Campbell introduced the importance of the audience's imagination and will on emotional persuasion that is equally as important as basic understanding of an argument. Campbell, by drawing on the theories of rhetoricians before him, drew up a contemporary view of pathos that incorporates the psychological aspect of emotional appeal.


Pathos in politics

Pathos has its hand in politics as well, primarily in speech and how to persuade the audience. Mshvenieradze states that "Pathos is directly linked with an audience. Audience is a collective subject of speakers on which an orator tries to impact by own argumentation." Similarly to how Aristotle discusses how to effectively utilize pathos in rhetoric, the way in which one appeals to the reader is similar in appealing to an audience of voters. In the case of politics and politicians, it is primarily more in argumentative writing and speaking. In Book II of Aristotle's writing's in ''Rhetoric,'' in essence knowing people's emotions helps to enable one to act with words versus writing alone, to earn another's credibility and faith.Budzyńska-Daca, A., & Botwina, R. (2015). Pre-election TV debates–persuasive games between ethos, logos, and pathos. Persuasive Games in Political and Professional Dialogue, 26, 39. As Aristotle's teachings expanded, many other groups of thinkers would go on to adopt different variations of political usage with the elements of pathos involved, which includes groups such as the Epicureans and Stoics.


Pathos in advertising

The contemporary landscape for advertising is highly competitive due to the sheer amount of marketing done by companies. Pathos has become a popular tool to draw consumers in as it targets their emotional side. Studies show that emotion influences people's information processing and decision-making, making pathos a perfect tool for persuading consumers to buy goods and services. In this digital age, "designers must go beyond aesthetics and industrial feasibility to integrate the aspect of 'emotional awareness'". Companies today contain current culture references in their advertisement and oftentimes strive to make the audience feel involved. In other words, it is not enough to have a pleasant looking advertisement; corporations may have to use additional design methods to persuade and gain consumers to buy their products. For example, this type of advertising is exemplified in large food brands such as Presidents Choice's "Eat Together" campaign (2017), and Coca-Cola's "Open-happiness" campaign (2009). One of the most well known examples of pathos in advertising is the SPCA commercials with pictures of stray dogs with sad music. Pathos in research Pathos can also be also used in credited medical journals, research and other academic pieces of writing. The goal is to appeal to the readers' emotion while maintaining the necessary requirements of the medical discourse community. Authors may do so, by using certain vocabulary to elicit an emotional response from the audience. “God-terms” are often used as a rhetorical technique. It is imperative that authors still preserve the standard of writing within the medical community by focusing on factual and scientific information without use of personal opinion.


See also

*
Appeal to emotionAppeal to emotion or ''argumentum ad passiones'' ("argument from passion") is an informal fallacy Informal fallacies are a form of incorrect argument in natural language. The source of the error is not just due to their ''form'', as is the case for f ...
*
Bread and circuses "Bread and circuses" (or bread and games; from la, panem et circenses) is a metonymic phrase referring to superficial appeasement. It is attributed to Juvenal, a Roman poet active in the late first and early second century CE — and is use ...
*
Catharsis Catharsis (from Greek , , meaning "purification" or "cleansing" or "clarification") is the purification and purgation of emotions—particularly pity and fear—through art or any extreme change in emotion that results in renewal and restoration. I ...
* Dukkha *
Ethos Ethos ( or ) is a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Ethos
*
Logos ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος ''Logos'' (, ; grc, λόγος, lógos; from , , ) is a term in Western philosophy Western philosophy refers to the philosophy, philosophical thought and work of the W ...

Logos
* Pathetic fallacy *
Pathology Pathology is the study of the causesCauses, or causality, is the relationship between one event and another. It may also refer to: * Causes (band), an indie band based in the Netherlands * Causes (company), an online company See also * Cau ...
*
Rhetoric Rhetoric () is the Art (skill), art of persuasion, which along with grammar and logic (or dialectic – see Martianus Capella), is one of the Trivium, three ancient arts of discourse. Rhetoric aims to study the techniques writers or sp ...
*
Sensibility Sensibility refers to an acute perception Perception (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area ...
*
Sentimental novel The sentimental novel or the novel of sensibility is an 18th-century literary genre which celebrates the emotional and intellectual concepts of sentiment Sentiment may refer to: *Feeling Feeling was originally used to describe the physical s ...
For more reading or examples: https://literarydevices.net/pathos/ https://examples.yourdictionary.com/examples-of-pathos.html


References


External links

* {{Authority control Rhetoric
Emotion Emotions are subjective experiences, often associated with Mood (psychology), mood, temperament, Personality psychology, personality, and disposition. Articles about specific emotional states should be placed in :Emotions or one of its subcategorie ...
Writing Stoicism
Epicureanism {{Cat main Hedonism Roman-era philosophy Ethical schools and movements Materialism Movements in hellenistic philosophy ...
Aristotelianism