Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

ENCORE!

The highs and lows of Cannes for the critics

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Remembering our friend and colleague Jean Karim Fall

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bad diplomacy, brawls & bromance

Read more

ENCORE!

Cannes 2017: Pitch Perfect's Brittany Snow becomes an urban warrior

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

US President wraps up world tour in Italy (Part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

The battle against illegal fishing in West Africa

Read more

DOWN TO EARTH

Trump has already quit the Paris climate deal - just not publicly

Read more

#TECH 24

The Ice Memory Project: A treasure trove for future scientists

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

2017-05-26 G7

Uncertainty hangs over G7 summit as Trump wraps up foreign trip

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Fri. 26.05.17: As the G7 summit gets underway in Italy, US President Donald Trump brings "uncertainty and risk", The Guardian argues. Leaders are unlikely...

Read more

2017-05-26 France

Trump's handshake battle with Macron goes viral

FRENCH PAPERS - Fri. 26.05.17: There's "a holiday feeling" in France, as temperatures rise across the country, Le Courrier Picard reports. Thousands headed to beaches on Baie de...

Read more

2017-05-25 NATO

Donald Trump meets Emmanuel Macron: Can they get on?

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 25.05.17: British police believe the Manchester bomber was just a "mule" who was part of a larger network. Libération asks whether this network could...

Read more

2017-05-25 Manchester arena attack

Manchester bomber 'fits profile of other terrorists'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 25.05.17: British papers take a closer look at the Manchester attacker's background. Like previous terrorists, he was involved in gangs as a...

Read more

2017-05-24 Manchester arena attack

Manchester 'united' in its defiance against terrorism

IN THE INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Wednesday, May 24: Defiance is the tone seen widely in the British press after the Manchester attack that killed 22 people and injured dozens more...

Read more