Teaching language to the deaf in the 17th century: the dispute between John Wallis and William Holder

 

John Wallis John Wallis FRS

History of science lecture by Dr David Cram

Event details

David Cram is Emeritus Fellow at Jesus College, Oxford.

In the early years of the Royal Society an acrimonious dispute broke out between John Wallis and William Holder as to which of them had been successful in the ‘experiment’ of teaching the deaf child Alexander Popham to speak. Using evidence from the recently-discovered manual composed by Wallis for instructing Popham, this talk will aim to position the dispute in the context of the broader experimental concerns in Royal Society circles, including the schemes for a philosophical language with which both Wallis and Holder were intimately associated.

Recorded audio is available via the link above; video with subtitles will be available shortly.

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Teaching language to the deaf in the 17th century: the dispute between John Wallis and William Holder 6-9 Carlton House Terrace London SW1Y 5AG UK

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