Logos  is an important term in philosophy,analytitcal psychology, rhetoric and religion.

Heraclitus established the term in Western philosophy as meaning both the source and fundamental order of the cosmos. The sophists used the term to mean discourse, and Aristotle applied the term to rational discourse.


In ordinary, non-technical Greek, logos had two overlapping meanings. One meaning referred to an instance of speaking: “sentence, saying, oration”; the other meaning was the antithesis  of  (“action” or “work”), which was commonplace. Despite the conventional translation as “word”, it is not used for a word in the grammatical sense. It derives from the verb legō “to count, tell, say, speak”.The primary meaning of logos is: something said, by implication a subject, topic of discourse, or reasoning. Secondary meanings such as logic, reasoning, etc.

 Aristotle’s rhetorical logos

Aristole  defined logos as argument from reason, one of the three modes of persuasion.(Ethos Pathos and Logos) . An argument based on logos needs to be logical, and in fact the term logic derives from it. Logos normally implies numbers, polls, and other mathematical or scientific data.

Logos has some advantages:

  • Data are (ostensibly) difficult to manipulate, so it is harder to argue against a logos argument.
  • Logos makes the speaker look prepared and knowledgeable to the audience, enhancing ethos.

                                                                 By Tamar Kouyoumjian.


~ by wordpros on May 16, 2009.

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