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I've come across with the sentence below:

The appearance this gave of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner,..., did much to ensure the popularity of Jung's associations research, particularly in America.

The general meaning of the sentence is clear. But I don't understand the meaning of "this gave of" In particular.

So, could you tell me please what the meaning of "gave of" is?

The fuller text is here:

This work established Jung's reputation as one of the rising stars of psychiatry. The conceptual basis of his early work lay in the work of Theodore Flournoy and Janet, which he attempted to fuse with the research methodology of Wilhelm Wundt and Emil Kraepelin. In such a manner, he was attempting to develop a clinico-experi-mental method, which he termed experimental psychopathology. The appearance this gave of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner, through adopting some of the procedures of the experimental laboratory, did much to ensure the popularity of Jung's associations research, particularly in America.

From JUNG CONTRA FREUD The 1912 New York Lectures on the Theory of Psychoanalysis

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this gave of is a sentence fragment that shouldn't really be parsed together - they're different parts of the sentence.

The appearance this gave is the first element. The second element, being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner is the something referred to in the first part.

We could punctuate the sentence differently to make it clearer:

The appearance this gave - of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner, through adopting some of the procedures of the experimental laboratory - did much to ensure...

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  • Yes - but per my comment above, the question arises: Who is able [more precisely, appears to be able] to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner? – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 16 '19 at 14:11
  • Anyone and everyone. "He" - Theodore Flournoy, referenced earlier in the paragraph - was apparently conducting psychotherapy in a scientific manner. Since he was able to do it, he gave the impression that the scientific community as a whole was able to do it. – Werrf Jan 16 '19 at 14:16
  • I know that's what the writer meant. But syntactically I don't think that's what the actual words used "mean". – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 16 '19 at 14:28
  • On reflection, I no longer stand by my comment to the question itself (which has been somewhat imperiously "tidied away" by the mods! :) Syntactically and logically, I now think it's not who is able... - it's what. Specifically, the impression was given that experimental psychopathology was able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner. So we were both wrong! :) – FumbleFingers Reinstate Monica Jan 16 '19 at 17:24
  • As I commented, the 'who is able' was the scientific community. And your comment was removed because it should have been part of the question - I didn't even see it when I was answering. – Werrf Jan 16 '19 at 18:33
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It has no meaning.  The words "gave of" are not a coherent structure in this sentence.  Instead, this sentence contains two separate modifiers for the phrase "the appearance".  One of these modifiers is the contact relative clause "this gave".  The other is the prepositional phrase that begins with "of being able to . . .". 

 

When viewed individually, each of these modifiers makes sense:

The appearance this gave . . . did much to ensure the popularity of Jung's associations research . . . . 

The appearance . . . of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner . . . did much to ensure the popularity of Jung's associations research . . . . 

 

They should make the same kind of sense when viewed together:

The appearance this gave of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner. . . did much to ensure the popularity of Jung's associations research . . . . 

 

They should even make sense when presented in the opposite order, except that the relative clause cannot be a contact clause when it is separated from its modificand:

The appearance of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner that this gave. . . did much to ensure the popularity of Jung's associations research . . . . 

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the appearance ... of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner noun phrase

this gave is a subordinate clause that modifies that noun phrase

the appearance ... of being able to conduct psychotherapy in a scientific manner (which) this gave

This, of course, is referencing something earlier in the context.

Compare:

Because of the look he had of a lean and hungry animal, Hollywood had typecast him as an assassin.

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