CHARLES FORT Biography - Writers


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Name: Charles Hoy Fort                                                                 
Born: 6 August 1874                                                                   
Died: 3 May 1932                                                                       
Charles Hoy Fort (6 August 1874 - 3 May 1932) was an American writer and               
researcher into anomalous phenomena.                                                   
Jerome Clark writes that Fort was "Essentially a satirist hugely skeptical of         
human beings'  especially scientists' claims to ultimate knowledge". (Clark           
2000, 123) (see Pyrrhonism for a type of skepticism strongly reminiscent of Fort's).   
Clark describes Fort's writing style as a "distinctive blend of mocking humor,         
penetrating insight, and calculated outrageousness". (Clark 1998, 200)                 
Writer Colin Wilson describes Fort as "a patron of cranks" (Wilson, 199), and         
also argues that running through Fort's work is "the feeling that no matter how       
honest scientists think they are, they are still influenced by various                 
unconscious assumptions that prevent them from attaining true objectivity.             
Expressed in a sentence, Fort's principle goes something like this: People with       
a psychological need to believe in marvels are no more prejudiced and gullible         
than people with a psychological need not to believe in marvels." (Wilson, 201;       
emphases his)                                                                         
Fort's books sold well, and remain in print. Today, the term Fortean or Forteana       
is used to describe various anomalous phenomena.