Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE DEBATE

Showdown in Gambia: Foreign troops at border as Jammeh refuses to go (part 1)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Showdown in Gambia: Senegalese troops enter Country as Jammeh refuses to go (part 2)

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Davos 2017: Global leaders try to understand populist surge

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

DAVOS 2017: What next for the global healthcare industry?

Read more

FOCUS

New initiative provides free services to homeless in Paris

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

Moving US embassy to Jerusalem would be 'a terrible mistake'

Read more

ENCORE!

Hisham Matar's memoir 'The Return' seeks answers in post-Gaddafi Libya

Read more

FRENCH CONNECTIONS

Acquired tastes: The 'disgusting' French delicacies many foreigners won't eat

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Brazil: Docu-drama spotlights harsh reality of prison life

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

An overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday live at 7.20 am and 9.20 am Paris time.

Latest update : 2010-02-09

“France’s greatest thinker fooled by Kant hoax”

The Times’ Paris correspondent Charles Bremner is in gleeful mood this morning recounting the woes of famous French philosopher Bernard-Herni Lévy. “BHL” as he is known is “the laughing stock of the Left Bank” having referenced a philosopher who does not exist in his latest book.

“Existential problem of the philosopher who did not exist,” says the Times headline and indeed Bernard-Henri Lévy might be going through an existential crisis after a massive gaffe in his new book “On War in Philosophy”. France’s most dashing philosopher took aim at Immanuel Kant calling him “raving mad” and a “fake” in his new book and to support his attack, he cited a little-known 20th century thinker Jean-Baptiste Botul.
 
The problem: Botul was invented by a journalist in 1999 as an elaborate joke. He even has a Wikipedia page which explains that he is a “fictional French philosopher.” Yet Lévy referred to Botul’s faked book “The Sex Life of Emmanuel Kant” saying the fictitious philosopher had proved once and for all “just after the Second World War in his series of lectures to the neo-Kantians of Paraguay that their hero was an abstract fake, a pure spirit of pure appearance.”
 
Aude Lancelin, a journalist at Le Nouvel Observateur, says that this was a “nuclear gaffe that raises questions about Lévy’s methods.”
 
She said she burst out laughing when she read the extracts from the book. Indeed, it is a particularly embarrassing episode for the prominent thinker who was a founding member of the “nouvelles philosophes” movement in the 1970s and is a regular guest on French television talk shows.
 
Other stories in today’s international papers:
 
Kommersant: Transitive start for Yanukovych
 
The Moscow Times: “Yanukovych wins, calls on rival to concede”
 
The Financial Times: “Oranges and lemons in Ukraine”
 
International Herald Tribune: French mosque vandalized
 
The Guardian: “Battle of the PM’s snacks”
 
Daily Sport: “Feeling fruity”
 

By James CREEDON

COMMENT(S)

Archives

2017-01-19 François Hollande

Is Hollande eyeing 'European Council president' post after he steps down?

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: The seven candidates hoping to be the French left's presidential pick go head-to-head in the final debate before the primaries this...

Read more

2017-01-19 climate change

11th hour: Scientists say primates facing 'imminent extinction'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, January 19: 2016 was the hottest year on record, a phenomenon that is being blamed on human activity. Also endangered: primates who are facing...

Read more

2017-01-18 Brexit

French papers: A small slap for Valls, a major PR blow for his campaign

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 18.01.17: French papers react with alarm to the British prime minister's highly anticipated speech in which Theresa May clarified her government's "hard...

Read more

2017-01-18 Theresa May

Theresa May: 'It's my way or the highway'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - 18.01.17: British papers react to PM Theresa May's highly anticipated speech in which she clarified the government’s "hard Brexit" plans. Also, the world...

Read more

2017-01-17 Brexit

'Great Brexpectations'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 17.01.17: In the UK, Theresa May is set to give a speech in which she will present a 12-point plan for Brexit. British papers are calling it her most...

Read more