Aristotelian Fallacies and Strategies in Advertisement: A Media Discourse Analytical Study


  • Fouzia Rehman Khan
  • Sumaira Shafiq


The present study focuses on the power embedded in the use of language in print media which, though without logic, is still powerful. For this purpose, some advertisements from the print media are selected and analysed through three Aristotelian fallacies namely fallacy of authority, the fallacy of majority and appeal to authority along with three strategies of logos, pathos, and ethos as given by Aristotle. The analysis of data shows that language has a power of its own which is not always logical but people make use of such power to become influential. Fallacies and the strategies behind the use of language act as tools to practice this kind of power. In the selected advertisement discourse, these fallacies and strategies are used to convince people and market the products, often by erroneous arguments. Encouraging positive trends in the rate of literacy, prevailing scientific approach and introducing the subject of ‘logic’ right from the school can counter such fallacies in the language. The teaching of logic and rhetoric can encourage students to question and reason the arguments presented to them in everyday text and talk. The inclusion of such subjects can be empowering for the students to counter the illogicality and falsehood in the use of language so they cannot be subjugated by fallacies in the language.