Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: August 17, 2010 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412959216 | Print ISBN: 9781412959209 | Online ISBN: 9781412959216| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Communication scholars study ethos as a rhetorical construction, as well as a social or cultural formation. A rhetorically constructed ethos is intended to inspire confidence and trust in the speaker's or writer's good sense, good moral character, and good will, which are, according to Aristotle, the components of ethical demonstration. To reach a large and diverse audience, speakers and writers must engage universal perceptions of good character. Ethos is also understood as the underlying attitude about good or moral character that members of a culture share at any given time, that intersects with that culture's worldview, and that is developed and maintained through a variety of social mechanisms. Scientific ethos refers more specifically to the rhetorically constructed projection of scientific character in a speech or text, as well as culturally driven notions about the character of science and scientists. The locally constructed scientific ethos opposes and intersects with the The ...