Are the words "pathos," "logos," and "ethos," capitalised? I'm not sure if they are proper nouns.

  • Only Logos is often capitalised: (often initial capital letter) Philosophy. the rational principle that governs and develops the universe. *Theology * The Word of God, or principle of divine reason and creative order, identified in the Gospel of John with the second person of the Trinity incarnate in Jesus Christ. EXAMPLE SENTENCES: This methodology then proceeds ‘downward’ to the Incarnation, to the event in which the Word or Logos became man in Jesus Christ.
    – user66974
    Sep 17, 2015 at 6:11
  • 1
    Looks like an answer, Josh. Sep 17, 2015 at 7:46

1 Answer 1


The fact that you're asking about the 3 together implies a context of Aristotle's Rhetoric.

Are the 3 words inherently proper nouns? No. In fact most translations of Aristotle would not treat them as such.

Should you capitalize them? Yes!... if you're treating them as proper nouns. If you personify them as a rhetorical device, then that frequently implies capitalization. (Lord StyleGuide may demand a specific technique.)

Since we're in the realm of philosophy and intellectual debates the style may be a bit fluid, and allow for some artistry; turning pathos into Pathos to imply the universality of an Ideal.

Note: This would be different from the biblical capitalization of "Logos" or "The Word" which occurs because it is used as a title.

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