Stuttering: A Short History of a Curious Disorder

By Marcel E. Wingate | Go to book overview

mantics, and in his activity as a clinical psychologist," and mentioned that Johnson, at least on one occasion, referred to himself as a communicologist. "Perhaps," said Moeller, "he was neither speech pathologist nor semanticist. Surely he was not primarily a clinician" (p. ix).

One must add to this characterization that he also was certainly not primarily a scientist. The extent of his direct participation in research is questionable 38 and, as exemplified in the course of this chapter, his writings consistently reveal characteristics that are fundamentally contrary to a truly scientific orientation, such as personal involvement, persistent bias, limited objectivity, imprecision, selective attention to findings, supposition, presumption, and unsupportable inferences and interpretation. The view he constructed was a highly personal one, created provincially at the far periphery of scientific inquiry.

Considering the nature of his writings, his skill in verbal structuring, the intent within his message, and his evident success in persuasion, he is probably best identified as an accomplished rhetorician. In concurrence with this description, the formulation he constructed is appropriately identified as an exemplary sophism. 39


NOTES
1.
Someone well acquainted with Johnson during those early years at Iowa once told me that Johnson "just hated his stuttering." Because I Stutter was, in a quite literal sense, the Mein Kampf of stuttering, not only in terms of a personal report but also in regard to what it portended.
2.
Or "before stuttering meant anything in particular" to him. See earlier paragraph.
3.
More needs to be said about the role of paradoxes in the account of stuttering propounded by the Iowa school. To be taken up later, in Chapter 8.
4.
Johnson was undeniably a skillful as well as a prolific writer. In Because I Stutter (p. 47) he noted that "at an early age I found I could express the quality and quantity of my mind rather satisfactorily by writing." Also, note that his early preparation in college was as an English major.
5.
That is, sources other than his own predilections, which were based in his personal motivations.
6.
The bulk of which were theses done under his direction.
7.
His immersion is reflected principally in his unrelenting commitment to the movement which, beyond its continual application to stuttering, resulted also in his own sizeable book on the subject ( Johnson 1946), his participation in establishing ETC., A Review of General Semantics in 1943, and service on its editorial board until 1958.
8.
Although it was to be presented as a rather everyday, normal, or surface kind of psychological problem, that is, not a psychodynamic type of disturbance, with its deep nonconscious stirrings, forbidden impulses, and conflicts.
9.
Was initially, and always has been in the many subsequent replications!
10.
Nor (the temptation is too great) consistently!
11.
The reader would soon tire of a notation made to every clear instance of Johnson's own use of "labels" that certainly did not meet the criteria of "extensional" form.

-133-

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Stuttering: A Short History of a Curious Disorder
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures and Tables ix
  • Preface xi
  • Chapter 1 - Introduction 4
  • Part I - Long Ago and Far Away 7
  • Chapter 2 - Eoanthropus to Anno Domini 7
  • Notes 16
  • Chapter 3 - Anno Domini to 1700 27
  • Part II - The Significant Interim 29
  • Chapter 4 - 1700-1900 29
  • Notes 54
  • Chapter 5 - Early Twentieth Century 80
  • Part III - Modern Times 85
  • Chapter 6 - A Decade of Formative Transition 85
  • Notes 106
  • Chapter 7 - A View with Room 109
  • Notes 133
  • Part IV - Still Wandering 137
  • Chapter 8 - The Legacy 137
  • Notes 159
  • Chapter 9 - Other Dimensions 194
  • Part V - Denouement 199
  • Chapter 10 - Synopsis and Sequelae 199
  • Notes 214
  • Glossary 217
  • References 225
  • Further Reading 241
  • Name Index 243
  • Subject Index 247
  • About the Author 251
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