An emotional response

Whether a writing is in the area of pathos, logos, or ethos, the responses seem to be emotionally driven. RESPONSES TO WHAT?

The writing “Why Our Memory Fails Us” I think is a pulling appealA WHAT? HUH? to the fact that, biologically speaking, people tend to incorrectly recall memories – especially as time passes. The writers explain that inaccurate reconstruction of memory is not usually meant to be a lie, or misleading, but is only a biological and cognitive lapse in accurate recollection. I find this to be an appeal mostly to logos. Chabris and Simons are prominently arguing that it is not logical to bypass that memory is sometimes unintentionally misrepresentative of past events; one shouldn’t assume that a person presenting an incorrect memory is intentionally trying to lie or mislead. In the writing, the writers reason that “Dr. Tyson thought. Mr. Bush wasn’t blinded by religious bigotry. Instead, Dr. Tyson was fooled by his faith in the accuracy of his own memory.” This further increases the idea of logos, or rationale. Focus should be placed on the writers talking about Tyson’s faith in his own accuracy, and not in his beliefs (in religious bigotry). Though not a primary motive, ethos is a strong supporting factor. The writers display firm belief that people are not generally trying to degrade moral standards by purposefully giving disillusioned recounts of past events. Additionally, the language of the writing itself is quite formal with little added “flavor”, such as slang and jargon. The ideas are much more denotative than connotative, and these features show a more rational, less internal style than many who use such language in their sentences.

The top comment (excluding Neil deGrasse Tyson’s) is from Keith Dow, who does not write anything more than “I think your memory of Bush being an intelligent person is faulty,” followed a couple of “dumb” quotes utter by President Bush, which Dow copied and pasted. With an understanding of the reputation President Bush had, this is quite the comical comment – even though it was likely meant to be serious. Clearly this view is agreed upon by many people, and it is also one of pathos. Many people may agree that George Bush isn’t brightest, as a top comment proves, but smarts is relative. In extreme cases, the west may find him to be a bumbling fool while people of the third world are likely to find him to be like Einstein amongst them. In the end, though, this comment is not taking any serious jabs at the writers. Neither is Jacob Sommer, who is taking the side of the writers but in a sense of pathos rather than logos. His take is that letting go of the possibility that the person means the worse is much better than assuming, especially when that assumption may be a waste of emotional energy. I think that a lot of people can relate to the idea of letting go rather than letting angry grow. The fifth comment is incredibly philosophical, pointing out brainwashing and propagandists. Another example of ideology from pathos; it seems that the top comments are more in the pathos camp. Perhaps western culture is more emotional than rational in their reactions to publication?


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