Thursday, August 19, 2004

Readings for Tuesday: Lakoff+3 articles

For Tuesday, you should also read the George Lakoff essay, "Moral Politics."

In addition to Lakoff, be sure to read the following articles:

Note: You may be required to register to view articles from the Times and other newspapers we read in class. This registration will always be free, even if it can be annoying.

For your first blog entry, you should analyze one of the three bulleted articles/editorials listed above. You may choose to analyze the article according to the model offered in Good Reasons, or you may apply some of the arguments raised by Lakoff in his essay on political discourse. If you analyze the article using Good Reasons, discuss which of the appeals the author seems to be using (he or she may be using more than one), and discuss which arguments are most and least effective and explain why. Your responses should be approximately 250-300 words.

9 Comments:

At 6:35 PM, Blogger janie said...

Competition brings out the best and worst of people. Dahlia Lithwick demonstrates just how for one will go in order to win over popularity, and, in this case, votes. Her article, "Babies and Bath Water", tells of the recent bashing of President Bush from various people, including candidate Kerry. The article deals mainly with the fact that the 'Bush- basing' aims to infantilize President Bush.

In this article, Lithwick made several appeals similar to those of Rachel Carson in her book,"Silent Spring".
"Silent Springs focused on the harm of droping to many pesticides on any particular area. Both articles appealed to the audience(pathos) by making the readers interested in what they had to say. They did so by showing many examples. Carson told of how the pesticides not only killed the insects, but ,also, caused humans and animals to become sick. Lithwick show how the recent advertisements of Bush as a child infantized Bush. By using these examples, the audience was able to understand the points of each author.

Authors Lithwick and Carson, both, established themselves as credible authors by showing differents views of their subjects. In "Babies and Bath Water", Lithwick gives the consequences of the 'Bush-bashing'. Lithwick tells how bashing President Bush insults the people that voted for Bush and it also diminishes the values of the American people. Carson explains how everyone can benefit from reducing the amount of pesticides covering an area by preventing more people from becoming ill and just targeting the insects. Reason is ,also, a big part of these two texts. They tell of how one subjects leads to many others.

The best appeal in both pieces of work, seems to be the establishment of the author as credible. a credible author can be trusted and believed. This allows the reader to analyze the context without the burden of wondering whether to disreguard the text, altogether. After establishing the author as trustworthy, the audience can then move on to other appeals within the text.

 
At 6:51 PM, Blogger janie said...

Competition brings out the best and worst of people. Dahlia Lithwick demonstrates just how for one will go in order to win over popularity, and, in this case, votes. Her article, "Babies and Bath Water", tells of the recent bashing of President Bush from various people, including candidate Kerry. The article deals mainly with the fact that the 'Bush- basing' aims to infantilize President Bush.

In this article, Lithwick made several appeals similar to those of Rachel Carson in her book,"Silent Spring".
"Silent Spring" focused on the harm of dropping too many pesticides on any particular area. Both articles appeal to the audience(pathos) by making the readers interested in what they had to say. They did so by showing many examples. Carson told of how the pesticides,not only killed the insects, but ,also, caused humans and animals to become sick. Lithwick showed how the recent advertisements of Bush as a child infantilized Bush. By using these examples, the audience was able to understand the points of each author.

Authors Lithwick and Carson, both, established themselves as credible authors by showing differents views of their subjects. In "Babies and Bath Water", Lithwick gives the consequences of the 'Bush-bashing'. Lithwick tells how bashing President Bush insults the people that voted for Bush and it also diminishes the values of the American people. Carson explains how everyone can benefit from reducing the amount of pesticides covering an area by preventing more people from becoming ill and just targeting the insects. Reason is ,also, a big part of these two texts. They tell of how one subjects leads to many others.

The best appeal in both pieces of work, seems to be the establishment of the author as credible. a credible author can be trusted and believed. This allows the reader to analyze the context without the burden of wondering whether to disreguard the text, altogether. After establishing the author as trustworthy, the audience can then move on to other appeals within the text.

 
At 12:17 PM, Blogger clarabelle said...

Clara Olson
Tryon
English 1101 F5
24 August 2004

Blog Entry #1- Douglas J. Feith’s “A Smarter Way to Use Our Troops”

Douglas Feith, the undersecretary of defense for policy, uses each of the appeals (pathos, ethos, and logos) in his essay supporting President Bush’s new plan for a change in U.S. global force position. He focuses on logos, with many reasons why the plan is beneficial to the U.S., and makes allusions to pathos. Feith’s ethos is questionable.
Because he is the undersecretary of defense for policy, Feith is likely biased in his opinions about Bush’s new plan to consolidate and withdraw troops from abroad in various places around Europe and Asia. He makes only one allusion to anything possibly negative about the plan: that “the changes will cause some dislocations,” and then immediately states that our allies, nonetheless, have “voiced support, indeed enthusiasm, for the realignment,” and thereby negates his consideration of unfavorable aspects of the plan. Ethos may be his least effective argument, where nonbiased facts are concerned.
Feith makes some references to our pathos. He sympathizes with the families of deployed soldiers abroad and notes that 60,000 to 70,000 service members will be shifted from foreign to U.S. bases. Later he gives a more specific example of the strife of soldiers who have to leave their already-deployed families to serve at a different station in another country abroad. The pathos in Feith’s argument is effective mostly for soldiers and their families.
Possibly the logos in Feith’s article is his most effective form of argument. He explains in detail why Bush’s new plan is good for our military and our world relations. Feith lists many logical reasons including that the plan will consolidate scattered facilities around the world and make it easier to deploy forces on short notice.

 
At 3:29 PM, Blogger gtg007w said...

Dr. Tryon,

The URL for the group at the back in D4 class is http://attheback.blogspot.com

Needless to say, our blog entries will be posted there.

 
At 4:51 PM, Blogger DavidW said...

Blog Entry #1
Article: “Babies and Bath Water” by Dahlia Lithwick

In “Babies and Bath Water,” Dahlia Lithwick argues that characterizations of President Bush as a simple-minded toddler are immature and unproductive. In doing so, she skillfully illustrates Aristotle’s three primary tactics of argument: pathos (appeal to emotion), ethos (establishing credibility), and logos (appeal to reason).

To appeal to the emotions and values of her audience (pathos), Lithwick calls into question the propriety of the characterizations of President Bush as a child. She writes: “This is the language of toddlerhood; it’s not how we should be framing a national conversation about the president.” By associating such characterizations with the language of childhood insults (e.g. “dummies”), Lithwick calls attention to their uncouth nature. She makes the point that characterizing President Bush as a child is not the proper way to initiate meaningful debate. Instead, critics of President Bush should assess him on the basis of his actions and on the effectiveness and merit of his policies.

In creating a credible ethos, Lithwick follows a well-worn strategy used by generations of writers: she establishes her credibility largely through well-reasoned argument and correct, convincing prose. If her logic and diction had otherwise been faulty, readers would be hard pressed to take her article seriously. Moreover, Lithwick does not ostensibly establish herself as a partisan. This allows her to appeal to both liberals and conservatives and to further establish her credibility.

Finally, Lithwick fully demonstrates Aristotle’s three tactics of argument by appealing to the reason of her audience: she presents a well-constructed and organized argument. She first identifies examples of rhetoric in the media that attempt to portray President Bush as an infant (e.g. a scene from “Fahrenheit 9/11,” ads on MoveOn.org, Al Gore’s televised debate with President Bush). Then, she presents several reasons why such characterizations are unproductive: (1) they “play to stereotypes of liberals as snotty know-it-alls…;” (2) “Dismissing [President Bush] as a stupid child, and [those who voted for him] as stupid-children-by-association, is no way to win them back;” (3) “Infantilizing the president shifts the focus away from the Cheneys, Rumsfelds, Ashcrofts, and Wolfowitzes;” and (4) “With each attempt to cast Mr. Bush as a baby, we craft excuses for his childish behaviors.” The effort Lithwick made to identify examples of such characterizations and her numerous reasons for their futility demonstrates that she has analyzed the topic thoroughly, preemptively addressing possible opposing arguments and clearly explaining the logic behind her assertions. Combined with the effective use of pathos and ethos, Dahlia Lithwick has constructed a highly persuasive article emphasizing the error of characterizing President Bush as a child. I am convinced.

 
At 5:02 PM, Blogger Luciana said...

In order to successfully persuade an audience, there are many considerations that need to be taken in a written argument. Dahlia Lithwick's "Babies and Bath Water" displays many of these important factors. The same applies to "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson.

The hard task to change the reader's mind was started with the right step. Both authors were acknowledged about the audience they were writing for. Lithwick was aware that people that were in favor of bashing Bush were going to be the ones interpreting and opposing her opinions. In "Silent Spring", Carson used words that "most of the people" could understand in order to inform her wide audience, the public.

Avoiding to get criticized, Lithwick's claim that infantilizing president Bush is ineffective was not stated clearly but it captured the reader's attention by connecting with the values of the audience and giving them information of the consequences of their actions. Carson also makes a passive move into the readers' mind by introducing her writing with the fable about the small town where her friend used to reside and informing them with the disaster that happened with the insects and other animals because of the spraying of pesticides.

Both authors successfully persuade their audience because they give examples of "both sides" and establish themselves with the people who are not capable of understanding their opposing opinions.

 
At 6:36 PM, Blogger chutry said...

Thanks for the link, Walid. I'll add it to the linkroll shortly. Thanks to the people who have left their responses here in the comments. So far so good.

 
At 8:27 PM, Blogger Jena85 said...

Professor,
The blog site for the front group of D4 is at the site http://atlenglish.blogspot.com/ I did not know if you had it, so I thought I would let you know where our work is going.

 
At 6:16 AM, Blogger bumjoonkim said...

I don't know whether you know it or not, the middle group's blog is
http://groupsausage.blogspot.com/

 

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