Jaap P. Van Praag

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van Praag, Jaap P. (1911–1981 )

Van Praag, at one time a professor of philosophy at Utrecht, was the first chairman of the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU). The World Union of Freethinkers had been founded in 1880, and the International Ethical Union followed in 1896.

According to van Praag, after the Dutch Humanistish Verbond was founded, Harold Blackham, J. Hutton Hynd, and he spoke in 1947 about the possibility of closer international cooperation. So, with the help of Julian Huxley, and despite some differences inasmuch as Humanism was the favored word in the United States but the Ethical Culture group was opposed to using the term, it was decided to embrace both notions. As a result, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) was formed in 1952.

When he signed Humanist Manifesto II, van Praag presided over the International Humanist and Ethical Union. He read papers at the First International Congress of the IHEU in Amsterdam (1952), at the Third Congress in Oslo (1962), at the Fifth in Boston (1970), at the 6th in Amsterdam (1974), and at the Seventh held in London (1978). In 1978, he received a special award “for 25 years of devoted service to IHEU.”


{HM2; HNS2; PK; TRI}