Notes on Annotating Pisteis of Web Pages

from Longaker, pp 44-49
These notes are supplements to Longaker, pp 44-49. Keep Longaker next to you as you work.


An argument seeks to connect a (new) claim to an audience's presuppositions - to those things the audience already believes are true, probable, desirable, valued, understood.

Presuppositions are situational and not universal: The presuppositions in play (salient) might not be obvious but they vary according to intended audience. Presuppositions can be managed by the rhetor using phrasing, images, emphases, and other techniques.

Consider the presuppositions that are salient in this argument for different audiences

Restate the argument to appeal to

A direct argument - gives overt reasons, makes overt connections, draw overt conclusions. Typically a written text or forma speech.

An indirect argument - presents sets of ideas, images, and manages them in an effort to get the audience to draw specific conclusions. Typically informal exchange in speech or informal text.

We're dealing with indirect argument in this look at web pages.

The examples

The Pisteis

These are elements of invention and analysis. They are three big groups that help rhetors manage connecting claim and values. Rhetors use them to guide designing their argument. Rhetorical critics (that's us) use them to analyze how the message persuades.


A presentation or appeal to reputation, credentials, practical knowledge, fair-mindedness, honesty, goodwill, general moral quality. A corporate logo is an appeal to ethos. A logo is a petition for trust. demonstration or signal of of practical wisdom, goodwill, fairness, worldliness. You'll see other elements.

Those itself does not persuade. The appeal makes two steps: Ethos petitions the audience but does not persuade. The appeal gives the audience reason to trust the other statements, be they pathetic or reason.

Classically: The petition is to tell a joke, dress well, thank your hosts, mention some background about self that DEMONSTRATES you are fair-minded ... worth a listen


An appeal to the emotions of the audience to believe something or do something. Classically, appeal to emotion comes at the end of a presentation because that's when the action can start. But the appeal to emotion actually operates throughout the message.

Desire, fear, anger, love, ... so an appeal to patriotism - love of country - often used to motivate someone to believe something - a course of action ...

Like ethos, pathos itself doesn't persuade. It prepares an intended audience to be persuaded. Pathos is the presentation of the causes of emotion: those things that will arouse, intensify, or change the audience's emotions (pathemata). If the right causes are presented in a real enough way, audience may use the emotion as a reason for embracing the idea. Presence.


An appeal to an idea, fact, category, and reasoning - not necessarily logic, but the actual reasoning presented.

In direct argument, logos appears as the stated reasons and evidence given in support, and as the rationale that connects the two.

In indirect argument, the reasoning itself is not presented. Logos becomes the inferable but unspoken connection and rationale that the the audience is encouraged to draw. Logos can be presented as menu categories, calendars, the selection of highlighted events or features in an image, in the overall design ... For an element to be seen as logos, the analyst must explain - make explicit - the connection between the claim and presuppositions that the intended audience considers rationale.

Traditionally, logos is presented as a direct chain of reasons for concluding something, often with the reasoning articulated. But just presenting a statement as a fact can direct an argument.



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