Classifying types of ethos support and attack

Rory Duthie, Katarzyna Budzynska

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Citations (Scopus)
201 Downloads (Pure)


Endorsing the character of allies and destroying credibility of opponents is a powerful tactic for persuading others, impacting how we see politicians and how we vote in elections, for example. Our previous work demonstrated that ethos supports and attacks use different language, we hypothesise that further distinctions should be made in order to better understand and implement ethotic strategies which people use in real-life communication. In this paper, we use the Aristotelian concept of elements of ethos: practical wisdom, moral virtue and goodwill, to determine specific grounds on which speakers can be endorsed and criticised. We propose a classification of types of ethos supports and attacks which is empirically derived from our corpus. The manual classification obtains a reliable Cohen's kappa κ = 0.52 and weighted κ = 0.7. Finally, we develop a pipeline to classify ethos supports and attacks into their types depending on whether endorsement or criticism is grounded in wisdom, virtue or goodwill. The automatic classification obtains a solid improvement of macro-averaged F1-score over the baseline of 10%, 25%, 9% for one vs all classification, and 16%, 18%, 10% for pairwise classification.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComputational Models of Argument - Proceedings of COMMA 2018
EditorsSanjay Modgil, Katarzyna Budzynska, John Lawrence, Katarzyna Budzynska
PublisherIOS Press
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9781614999058
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event7th International Conference on Computational Models of Argument, COMMA 2018 - Warsaw, Poland
Duration: 12 Sept 201814 Sept 2018

Publication series

NameFrontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications
ISSN (Electronic)0922-6389


Conference7th International Conference on Computational Models of Argument, COMMA 2018


  • Corpus Analysis
  • Elements of Ethos
  • Ethos Mining
  • Ethos-Logos
  • Wisdom-Virtue-Goodwill

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Artificial Intelligence


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