Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A tiger in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

French women speak out about sexual harassment, but what happens next?

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Zimbabwe: Emmerson Mnangagwa pledges to revive failing economy

Read more

FOCUS

Video: FRANCE 24 meets foreigners fighting with Kurds in Syria

Read more

#TECH 24

Energy Observer: The world's first hydrogen-powered boat

Read more

ENCORE!

The best winter exhibitions

Read more

#THE 51%

Shortage of male heirs leads many Japanese families to adopt adult men

Read more

FASHION

Death of an icon: Remembering fashion designer Azzedine Alaïa

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Black Friday deals: Are they really worth it?

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

2017-11-24 Zimbabwe

Did Grace Mugabe's rise cause her husband’s downfall?

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 24.11.17: All eyes are on Zimbabwe as Emmerson Mnangagwa is inaugurated as president. Did Grace Mugabe's rise cause her husband’s downfall? Meanwhile,...

Read more

2017-11-24 Sexual harassment

'When it comes to violence against women, the time to act is now'

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 24.11.17: Tomorrow is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. L'Humanité takes the opportunity to sound the alarm about sexual...

Read more

2017-11-23 Ratko Mladic

'I got the power': Womanspreading takes hold of social media (and maybe 2018)

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Thursday, November 23: There's a lot of cynicism in the press after Ratko Mladic's life sentence from the ICTY in The Hague, a decision that's been years in...

Read more

2017-11-23 France

What a story! France investigating Russian billionaire senator over tax fraud

IN THE FRENCH PAPERS - Thursday, November 23: A Russian billionaire and senator is arrested in France over tax fraud and money laundering allegations. Also, Marine Le Pen hits...

Read more

2017-11-22 Zimbabwe

Robert Mugabe resigns: 'Hip Hip Harare'

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Wednesday, November 22: The Zimbabwean papers rejoice at a "new era" as Robert Mugabe resigns. But will his successor be any better? Lebanese Minister Saad...

Read more