The common trivial steps in the trivium
Trivium truth may seem trite at times but it is not trivial. First off, we’ll start simple and begin with some basic definitions on general rhetorical terms. These are used constantly in today’s marketplace. Using these rhetorical appeals as a foundation gives the viewer something to attach to.
Ethos refers to how trust worthy a person is.
Ethos is used as an appeal to a moral philosophy or reliable integrity in a person. It attempts to signify credibility within the speaker. It is an effective strategy because it automatically inserts belief in the speakers credibility because of a higher educational or moral standing in society. A doctor is good example. People hold a doctors power of reasoning in high regard. Same with a judge because a certain trust is automatically implied. It can be used to challenge the reliability or moral stance in an argument.
Ethos also appeals to the character of the speaker or writer. It also includes general ethical and moral systems. They involve many references to principles in behavior that cannot be proven by syllogisms alone. It relies on a shared or assumed moral or ethical system.
But, logic needs to be in place because a listener or reader needs to follow a cause and the effect it creates. The human component has to be included or else you run the risk of getting anyone to care about the subject being deliberated. This is where Pathos comes into play…
Pathos is another powerful device.
This appeals to emotion. It’s always loaded with vivid illustrations that trigger our psychic buttons. The speaker wants the listener or reader to be persuaded by the emotional value this type of argument can generate. Packed with sympathy and empathy they dim the analytical processing of rational thought. The more people react to this type of rhetoric the more they become least likely to ask the big question(s). Like WHY? In many instances they’re used in calls to action within a group or society.
This is the last note in this triad of reasoning. Pathos is always included in an argument. It can be a major or minor component in its delivery. Even when you’re just looking for the facts alone there is at least enough pathos inside it to ask the listener to pay attention because it is important.
Pathos is like adding yeast to the sterile flour of logic. It helps it to grow and rise by putting a human face on difficult issues of discussion. Including bits of gossip in your dialog is useful because people are always interested in what others are doing and are more likely to pay attention to the ethics involved.
Logos denotes an appeal to truth logic and trivial reasoning.
Logos is tricky because it relies on theories and abstract language. They include definitions, factual data, and statistics. Including learned comments by authoritative sources with Ethos driven opinions. Logos tries to give the best sources and reasoning. Appeals are taken as matter of facts and are useful in persuading others to believe a conclusion. Cherry picking is a common practice.
Logos means an utterance or a ‘word’. All arguments are constructed of the words themselves and how they fit together. It focus’ on the abstract and rational part of reasoning. Logos doesn’t rely on emotions, moral values, and feelings to construct an argument. It is based on the If/Then statements in the syllogistic blue print.
Examples: This product is good. Therefore you should buy it. This person is good as a candidate for office. Therefore you should vote for him.
Anything really thoughtful is subjugated to ad hominem prejudice by any who hold high authority. For a reason! I think the value of Ethos has been taken over to shield these powers from the common people. Inserting passive pathos against the masses and using logos to fool common sense. Turning knowledge into a commodity. Even simple trade knowledge is being suppressed.
Yes, knowledge is a commodity in Trite and Trivial Trivium Truth
Criticizing knowledge itself and denying the possibility of a universal truth makes knowledge dependent on the individual knower of trite and trivial trivium truth. This is an old concept meaning that your ideas are as good as mine and that there is no objective truth that is absolute for all men and women. With that in mind it became necessary to investigate thinking in a carefully framed theory of knowledge. Today we call this logic: a set of laws and a blueprint to work within the science of thought.
Common sense for the masses is based on consumerism. Using desire to tease out an emotional response. The tools to learn new things for the individual knower are there.
But, they’re obscured by thunderous clouds of wanton emotion. Raining torrential temptations down on the common mind to befuddle it with endless addictions that go nowhere.
Combined with pathos, logic is used to affect our emotional outlook, add the power of authority to that and you really got something to dictate opinion on a grand scale.
Does the trivium support the trite and trivial truth?
All arguments include logos, ethos, and pathos. The hard part is adding them in the right proportions. The trick is to choose an effective balance. Lawyers like to say “when the facts support your case, argue facts. When the law supports it, then argue law. And when neither the facts nor the law work, pound on the table to support your point with pathos.
When analyzing rhetoric, people should be wary of pathos because it often has the effect of short circuiting reason. But, ignoring it completely is very dangerous because in larger bureaucratic groups and impersonal corporate structures it’s easy to forget about individual human rights and suffering…