Archive for logos

In fact, rhetoric itself has been at times conflated with logos, or rational reasoning, which is supported and extended by the other two appeals. Just as a hammer is helped by a good measuring tape in the course of building a bookshelf, rhetorical discourse has been painted as a matter of logos helped out by emotional appeals. Even without emotional appeals, rhetoric can still exist through logos alone. It may be dry, dull, or non-compelling, but the discourse is still rhetorical in character. Some theorists refuse to even grant non-rational discourse the status of rhetoric. Donald Bryant made such a refusal in his 1953 essay “Rhetoric: Its Function and Its Scope,” where he offers a working definition of rhetoric as “the rationale of informative and suasory discourse” (18). Other theorists simply reaffirm the secondary nature of emotional appeals.  So argues Corbett when he writes, “It is argument (the appeal to the understanding) that produces conviction about the conduciveness of the means to the desired end; it is the appeal to the emotions that makes the end seem desirable” (87).