The Capable American: Ethos, Pathos, and the Governance of Education

  • Samuel M. Jay
Part of the Rhetoric, Politics and Society book series (RPS)


Jay examines the use of Aristotle’s appeals of ethos and pathos in the rhetoric of President Barack Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, which is found in the Common Core State Standards Initiative’s official documents and public oratory shared in support of the initiative. Using the work of Michel Foucault, this chapter unpacks how responsibility is constructed not solely through logos (e.g. argumentation, statistics, facts) but through ethical and emotional appeals. This results in self-governed individuals with the power to implement the Common Core—state government officials and public school administrators—doing so out of sense of personal duty, not because they are ordered to by the Obama Administration.


Education Reform Great Recession Social Sphere Financial Education Economic Sphere 
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© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Samuel M. Jay
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Communication Arts and SciencesMetropolitan State University of DenverDenverUSA

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