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  1. #1

    Default Ethos. Speaking and Writing with Authority

    I almost wanted to put this in the politics section, because it seems essential in that domain. But then, I thought that a philosophical discussion is more what I had in mind.

    I notice at work that most of the leaders are those that speak with certainty in their voice and words. There was one exception--a soft-spoken person who had a track record of being able to solve technical problems, but he recently left our group. Actually, there were a lot of exceptions a couple of years earlier--a bunch of type B personalities who actually did work instead of throw their weight around. But most of them were "redeployed" in one fell swoop.

    So I am wondering, what gives a speaker or writer authority?--In the real world, not in the world as you would like it.

    Aristotle called it "Ethos."

    Also, how can ethos-based persuasion techniques backfire?

    Also, especially in the politics section, how do you feel the posters on TypoC have fared in their use of ethos?

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  2. #2
    Glycerine
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    What gives a writer/speaker authority is confidence, the ability to connect w/ others to a certain extent, having "seemingly" sound logic (some people can BS their way through for a bit), wide knowledge base,
    1. confidence
    2. knowledge base/"seemingly" sound logic
    3. some level of connecting with others

    Ethos (appealing to emotions/ethics) can backfire when most people can call you out on the holes in your logic or you come off "fake" and insincere.

  3. #3

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    Thanks for responding.

    I wasn't expecting anyone to be an authority on authority here. I am just interested in what makes you believe makes some one an authority.

    The list is a sensible list. But I wonder, sometimes, very abrasive and intimidating people come off as authorities.

    Also, I believe pathos is appealing to emotions.

    Here is a website that illustrates ethos, pathos, and logos.
    The Art of Rhetoric: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

  4. #4
    & Badger, Ratty and Toad Mole's Avatar
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    Usually we speak of someone, "discovering their own voice".

    And if they haven't discovered their own voice, they are using an ersatz voice trying to please others.

    Another way of saying it, is that a person of authority is comfortable in their own skin, or comfortable in their own voice.

  5. #5
    Glycerine
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    Quote Originally Posted by ygolo View Post
    Thanks for responding.

    I wasn't expecting anyone to be an authority on authority here. I am just interested in what makes you believe makes some one an authority.

    The list is a sensible list. But I wonder, sometimes, very abrasive and intimidating people come off as authorities.

    Also, I believe pathos is appealing to emotions.

    Here is a website that illustrates ethos, pathos, and logos.
    The Art of Rhetoric: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

    That's why I put connecting with others as third because it isn't necessary but it helps A LOT if the logic and knowledge base are weak. yeah you're right pathos is emotions... I just didn't bother to look it up.

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor View Post
    Usually we speak of someone, "discovering their own voice".

    And if they haven't discovered their own voice, they are using an ersatz voice trying to please others.

    Another way of saying it, is that a person of authority is comfortable in their own skin, or comfortable in their own voice.
    Ah, a very interesting point. I've heard that about writing. But it is likely true about speaking too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Pitseleh View Post
    That's why I put connecting with others as third because it isn't necessary but it helps A LOT if the logic and knowledge base are weak. yeah you're right pathos is emotions... I just didn't bother to look it up.
    I suppose the message has to get through. So in that sense, connecting is necessary.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
    Robot Fusion
    "As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance." John Wheeler
    "[A] scientist looking at nonscientific problems is just as dumb as the next guy." Richard Feynman
    "[P]etabytes of [] data is not the same thing as understanding emergent mechanisms and structures." Jim Crutchfield

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