Poortman, J(ohannes) J(acobus)(1896-?)

views updated

Poortman, J(ohannes) J(acobus)(1896-?)

Professor of metaphysics who wrote on parapsychology. Poortman was born on April 26, 1896, in Rotterdam, Netherlands and educated at the universities of Gröningen, Hamburg, Paris (Sorbonne), Geneva, and Vienna. He was a research fellow in philosophy at Harvard University (1935-36) and received his Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam in 1954.

Poortman was coeditor of Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie (1937-38), the year before he began as head of the Library of the Theosophical Society (Netherlands Section), Amsterdam (1938-59). Simultaneously he was secretary of the Division of Philosophy for the Winkler Prins Encyclopedia (1944-51), a lecturer in metaphysics at Leyden University (1945-53), and beginning in 1954, secretary of Netherlands Theosophical Research Center. In 1958, he became a special professor for "metaphysics in the spirit of theosophy" at Leyden University.

Poortman was a charter member of the Studievereniging voor Psychical Research (Dutch Society for Psychical Research) and for four years its treasurer (1934-38). He was a charter member of the Parapsychological Association and a member of Korrespondierendes Mitglied Österreichische Gesellschaft für Psychische Forschung. He took a special interest in the relationships between philosophy and parapsychology.


Poortman, J. J. De Grondparadox. N.p., 1961.

. Drei Vorträge Über Philosophie und Parapsychologie. N.p., 1939.

. "The Feeling of Being Stared At." Journal of the Society for Psychical Research (1959).

. "Henri Bergson and Parapsychology." Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie N.p., 1941.

. "Mysterious Words." Tijdschrift voor Parapsychologie. N.p., 1939, 1940.

. Occult Motives in Literature. N.p., 1937.

. "Psychophysical Parallelism or Interactionism?" Journal of the American Society for Psychical Research (1937).

. Variaties op een en meer Themata (Collected Essays on Philosophy, Parapsychology and Theosophy). N.p., 1947.