Tok Persuasion

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 29 September 2016

Tok Persuasion

1. Persuasion through images.(IV)

Images are often not appealing to reason, but to emotions. This is not to say that a lot of thought does not go into graphical expression, but that the images are all ways aimed at moving the viewer visually. For example a form of visual theatre, burlesque will often attack something by representing it so as to look inane. In this case there is an interpreting process going on, but the audience must necessarily have an emotional response to what they see. Expression through images may have some interpreting process that the audience must make, but the final appeal will rely on our emotions. Another good example is political cartoons. Because political cartoons are able to make some aspect of an event look inane, they appeal to the audiences emotions so that they will adopt a certain political view.

In this it relies on the audiences reason to interpret the relationship and consequences represented in the cartoon, but the final result it aims for is a emotional response. But some photos will appeal only to are straight visceral response. For example, the photos asking for charity will usually feature children, which we will naturally feel pity for. In this case the photograph is appealing straight to our pity and natural sympathy towards children. In other cases the appeal may be anger. And beyond that this emotion is often manipulated through association. For example there are, in my opinion, a bit too many images portraying Obama aside Stalin, or other prominent figures in the USSR. This is not reason, but an attempt to stir up a visceral response of hatred and distrust.

2.Persuasion through language.

Language is our prime source of communication. We our so adept at communicating things through language that we may be able to change the meaning something has through the slightest change in words. This is because humans create connotations of words that can sometimes drift apart from people’s reaction towards the literal meaning of the word. In other words, people build an emotional reaction towards the words themselves. Using this, people that have the intention of manipulating other’s emotions may do so, through charging their language with words that will stir emotions. For example, when making a moving speech, people will often use phrases such as “ our liberty and freedom” , “a mans right”. Because these words are positively charged. On the converse of that, people may charge their language very negatively, in order to associate their opponent with those negative reactions.

For example, when you compare someone to Hitler, that is usually not an appeal to reason, but a very strong statement associating the opponent with something that is abominated. The argument made through negative association may take the form of logic, ie a comparison, but is not an appeal to logic but to emotion. In other cases governments may introduce neutrally charged words to take the stead of the words that people appall. For example the government will call killing people neutralizing, because the word “kill” is completely saturated with the social abhorrence of murder. In other cases people may use language in a lawyerly fashion to make something sound like something without exactly saying such a thing.

For example when a Politician represents his opponent he may often use ambiguous language which doesn’t quite state what is referred to, but makes the listener assume a particular thing, like when people talk of president Obama’s “dubious past” people are let to assume anything they want from him being an immigrant to him being involved in crime, while the speaker does not have to commit himself to making an explicit accusation. Sometimes assumptions people make based on language can be used to trick them in to assuming you’re innocents.

For example if someone was to borrow a gun from a friend to kill another man, and that someone is asked if he killed a man, that someone may respond “I don’t even own a gun”. A common term for this is equivocation. The man is not telling a lie, but stating a fact in a very misleading way. 3 Macbeth is full of the milk of human kindness => What is full of the milk of human kindness is Macbeth. For a mortal to get all our homework done is as hard as a camel going through the eye of a needle.=>Fot a camel to go through an eye of a needle is as hard as a mortal getting all of our homework done.

4. What are 5 emotional appeals?

Appeals to emotions are made everyday and it is so pervasive that we are unaware of how people use our emotions to persuade us to act in a certain way. For example the charity campaigns that want to cajole us into helping the needy will necessarily use emotional appeals. These appeals maybe generally categorized into two types, the appeals to empathy, or the appeals to our concerns about self-identity. In the example of charity campaigns there are often these two kinds of manipulation acting together. First of all the view will feel empathy for the starving children. Children are used because it is human nature to feel more compassion towards children. These ads are appealing to pity to try to get us to support their cause. And some will also use words which will attempt to guilt us into supporting the cause with campaigns that will call into question our morality with captions such as “would this happen in your country?”. Through this we are brought to think that not supporting this cause would contradict our sense of ethics. In this case the manipulation uses our concern over our self-image as moral people.

The beauty industry is infamous for manipulations of our concern with self-image. In this case they will often make woman feel that their self worth is only in their appearance and that they must use products to achieve this. That is why the models displaying the products are impossibly beautiful regardless of the product, and they are further airbrushed to complete the unachievable image of perfection. These airbrushed models make woman feel inadequate as they are, and lead them to desperately try these products in attempt to assuage their feeling lack of confidence. In other cases they may use our alliance to a particular cause to make us do things.

This takes advantage of our categorical way of thinking. For example political parties may appeal to our patriotism to justify wars. In fact in most wars it is claimed that their war is a defensive war to protect their people. When Japan invaded further north in China they said that the advancement of their army line was to protect their area from the Russians. This kind of concern for identity is also used to manipulate us because this causes us to be competitive.. Our competitive drive is manipulated in some campeigns, for example the NIS school pet bottle cap drive in order to make us collect more caps. These campaigns will place emphasis on what we did comparatively to others rather than letting us be content with the fact that we did the thing.

5. I think this means that his accomplishments were capable because of the foundation that his predecessors created for him. I think that this is true, and that the construction of a collective of knowledge greatly facilitates scientific advancements. We can not give credit for the invention of computers to only one man, because the invention was only made possible by all the men who helped advance the sciences hitherto. The collective of knowledge and the sharing of it is essential to the advancement of science, as we can see in the spurt of technological progress which came with globalization, or the stagnation of advancements in countries where the common people were illiterate. Paradigms are essential to scientific pursuit.

6. A problematic premises are premises that are actually mere assumptions. These can edge their way into arguments without us noticing it because the premises are often not put under scrutiny. A statement made on a false premise will be true only if the premises are correct. Or in cases of circular argument the premise itself may be the conclusion, hence not having a premise even though it takes a form of an argument with reason. For example the argument “Teachers should use the shared NIS calendar when assigning work because its what they should do.”

Is a completely absurd argument because the premise that supports the argument is the same as the proposition. Sometimes premises that don’t actually validate the claim may be used. For example the statement “you should be thankful for what you have because kids are starving in Africa.” In this there is no strong logical connection between the premises and the statement that we should not want to improve our situation.

7. In this it is implied that the student was cheating before. Further more it is a satire against the support of competitive ethos in which the unscrupulous get ahead, and yet the same time condemning these amoralities.

8. One is a generalization that targets a group. These generalizations will assume that an individual is a certain way because there is a certain stereotype of his group. For example one may think that all African-Americans like chicken. These types of stereotypes are particularly troublesome because people can have a way of only observing cases that prove the stereotype right. Other than that there are maxims that people create and use to assume something based on another thing that the person did do. For example if the statement “evil people don’t finish their homework” was to be taken as a maxim then one might assume that a person who didn’t finish their homework is evil.

Maxims necessarily do not encompass all people in all circumstances. And it is vary likely that a student could not finish the work because of her disregard of time, rather than being evil. Although it is also very likely that the student is deliberately trying to sabotage the class by getting to sleep before 3am. Then there are generalizations that oversimplify a persons belief. For example some people may attack left wingers for wanting a communist nation. Although Communists and the democratic party may both be further left than the republican party the beliefs of members in the democratic party vary greatly, and should not be summarized by terms such as “communist”, which would be making unwarranted associations.

9. One area of study in which grayscale may be seen is Historiography. For example historians may take the same data, but view it under a completely different light. In academia today when all scholars have access to the same information, a liberal historian will take all of the incriminating evidence to support his thesis that Stalin was, or had close affiliations to Satan, whereas a revisionist would take almost the same evidence to make a conclusion that, I quote “Stalin liked children”. This may affect our plane judgments even though there are more ways of viewing things. For example one may say that the novel “fifty shades of gray” is completely vapid and shallow, whereas another may find deep meaning in it.

Both are entitled to their own opinions, but the fact is that neither can be said to be the truth while both views are valid. It is not something with only one side to it, and the reader has the liberty to form their own interpretations. This can also be seen in religions. Religions take the same human experience of living and interpret it in completely different ways. One religion may see us as being born sinners in need of redemption, whereas another religion may view life as being an existence in which we try to become closer to god, and some people may think life is meaningless, and some may take a solipsistic view of humans. These are all valid, but the fact is that there is only one human existence, and these are different ways of interpreting it. It would be wrong to completely reject views different from that of your own.

10 One kind flawed clause is when the clause does not logical contribute to the conclusion, but makes the conclusion seem self evident. For example if I were to insert the word “obviously” into a statement before a clause it will give the assertion false credibility. The two sentences “If he committed a crime he is evil” and “If he committed a crime obviously he is evil” are an example of this. The clause “obviously” imputes that it is self evident, therefore leading the reader to accept the statement without scrutiny.

Another kind could be when a clause is used to make an assertion of a causal relationship where there is none. For example in the sentence “I have periorbital dark circles because I have three assignments and four tests crammed into two days.” Although it is absolutely bizarre to think that sleep deprivation could possibly have any relation with dark circles under a student’s eyes, this sentence imputes that there is a causal relationship between black circles, sleep deprivation and the amount of work a student has.

11 Christ Hedges mainly believes that countries use the idea of patriotism to go to war. He believes that we glorify war by creating grand narratives. In this I think he is referring to the rationales countries provide. For example the “war against terror” has a name that makes it seam like they are a force of justice fighting evil, whereas in actuality they themselves are amoral, as they are committing mass carnage.

12 Although it is a hard distinction and there are many things that sit in the cross section between these two, if I were to make a clear differentiation I would say that propaganda necessarily persuades people to act in a certain way by controlling and taking away their choice of what information they have access to. Where as the term persuasion simply means to use any method to manipulate some one’s will.


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  • University/College: University of Arkansas System

  • Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter

  • Date: 29 September 2016

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