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Anita Sarkeesian is a very persuasive woman and is talented in her use of the Aristotelian Appeals of Logos and Pathos. While seemingly an expert and very well versed on issues as they relate to feminism, sexism, and video games, she doesn't depend on a use of the Appeal of Ethos. It is because of this fact that I figure it's worth more of my time to sharpen my tools and skills as they relate to Logos and Pathos in order to be better able to assess her rhetoric, while getting an understanding of Ethos to perhaps figure out why she doesn't use it.

I feel it important to start with the appeal Logos, and figure out what exactly it means, how it can be used, and how it's been successfully used in the past to get a feel for how it persuades. Edward P.J. Corbett, who wrote "Classical Rhetoric for the Modern Student" defines logos with "Rationality is humanity's essential characteristic. It is what makes people human and differentiates them from other animals". Which indicates that humans are unique in that they are susceptible to being persuaded with facts and logical analysis that may differ from their perspective due to reasonable support of another point of view. A common example of this being used was when helmets were introduced in the military. Congressmen were opposed at first due to the 200% reported increase in nonfatal head wound casualties, when in reality, those head wounds would have been fatal had they not been wearing the helmet. Logos is a wonderful tool to portray statistics, as hearing some thing like "based on 2007 data ... seat belts saved a stunning 15,147 lives that year" can be a very potent fact to someone who values their life, but may not buckle their seat belt when they get into a car. Corbett also goes on to compare the give-and-take of question and answer in Plato's Dialogues as a good example in which individuals can informally argue logically with one each other. He makes it clear that Logos persuasion can play a part in something as informal as a conversation, it doesn't need to be the tool of researchers and scholars.

Pathos is the second of the tools that Anita makes use of. Corbett quotes George Campbell, an 18th century rhetorician, in defining Pathos by stating the importance of emotions in persuasion with "So far, therefore, is it from being an unfair method of persuasion to move the passions, that there is no persuasion without moving them." This quote goes to show that the value that using an emotional appeal in your arguments could be the difference between being successful and failing in your argument. An example that comes to mind where pathos was used as an argument was in the case of the 24 year-old congressman who was responsible for breaking a tie and ratifying the 19th amendment after he received a message from his mother asking him to "be a good boy". He later explained in a speech that "a mother’s advice is always safest for her boy to follow". This is definitive of pathos being used as persuasion, as there are no statistics, facts, or logical analyses happening; there is only the emotional appeal of a mother to her son. Corbett explains a small amount about people being "sheepish" to admit that they can be moved to action by emotion, and that the average individual should not be ashamed, as "being moved to action through our emotion ... is perfectly normal". Corbett seems to be tapping in to the human condition where individuals want to believe that all of their opinions and actions are rooted solely in logic, when in reality humans are emotional creatures. One might be motivated to buckle their seat belt because of a convincing statistic, or perhaps they're motivated because their uncle's death in a car crash could have been prevented by one. The difference between logic and emotion is clear.

Ethos is the final of three appeals, and it is what satisfies the audience's thirst for proof of expertise. Ethos is the appeal that dictates we as listeners should listen to Carl Sagan, when he speaks of his knowledge about the universe. Ethos is about the experience an individual has to speak to about their subject. It is not about very smart or intelligent people. No one should be interested in seeing a presentation where former president Clinton gives a speech about the seismic activity underneath California, when he likely has little to no knowledge of those developments. Corbett calls upon a great Latin maxim when he says "No one gives what he doesn't have", as if to say without the expertise to speak a subject, one can not try to impart their expertise.

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