Dr Carl Stumpf

eminent Austrian alienist


Dr Carl Stumpf, eminent Austrian alienist (not German, as commonly claimed by the uninformed masses).


Born into the noble Austrian Stumpf family, Dr Stumpf can trace his noble ancestry back to a lesser known scion of the 15th century Habsburg imperial family.
Raised with the certain knowledge of his family superiority over the great mass of unwashed, uneducated, ignorant creatures with whom he must coexist, Carl was profoundly distressed by the abolition of the Austrian nobility in 1919, and the loss of personal privileges he incurred.
He has been known to remind his associates of his innate superiority when they dare to question his genius. One rival who questioned his appointment to the chair of philosophy at the University of Berlin in 1894 was reminded that the impudent wight in question would be unable to trace his ancestry to his own parents had he not witnessed their wedding himself.

In his youth, he studied with Franz Brentano at the University of Würzburg before receiving his doctorate at the University of Göttingen under the tutelage of Hermann Lotze, the great perceptual theorist. Although majoring in philosophy and psychology, Stumpf also undertook studies in Medicine, Chemistry, Physics and various other disciplines, attaining leading grades in every field of study (once again demonstrating his intellectual superiority).
In academic circles, Stumpf is best known for his work on the psychology of tones. He is considered a pioneer of comparative Musicology and Ethnomusicology, and literally wrote the book on Phenomenology (coining the term himself in his landmark volume Tonpsychologie (Tone Psychology)).
To the uninformed, Phenomenology distinguishes between phenomena and mental functions, suggesting that phenomena such as tones, colors, and images are either sensory or imaginary.

Stumpf is also well known for debunking sensational phenomena, exposing frauds and charlatans in spectacular fashion on many occasions (most notably the case of “Clever Hans”, the so-called arithmetic performing horse).

Is there a field of scientific, academic or intellectual pursuit in which his assuredly unmatched abilities can fail ?

Dr Carl Stumpf

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