Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FRANCE IN FOCUS

French presidential election: Over 40% remain undecided

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

ICC orders Congo warlord germain Katanga to pay victims

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Trumpcare Falls Before First Hurdle

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Westminster Attack, Abadi in Washington (part 1)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

Obamacare, Europe's Unholy Alliances, Martin McGuinness (part 2)

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Export bans hit Brazil amid tainted meat scandal

Read more

#TECH 24

Inside Netflix's war room

Read more

FOCUS

French Catholic voters remain faithful to scandal-hit Fillon

Read more

PEOPLE & PROFIT

Growing ambitions: The forces driving India's economy

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

2017-03-24 François Fillon

France's Fillon insists President Hollande is behind efforts to tarnish him

FRENCH PAPERS, 24.03.17: Le Figaro leads with accusations by conservative presidential candidate François Fillon that French President François Hollande has been orchestrating...

Read more

2017-03-23 London

'Terror in Westminster'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Thurs. 23.03.17: Join us as we take a look at reactions in the press and on social media to yesterday's terrorist attack on Westminster in London. Amid the...

Read more

2017-03-22 Brussels attacks

Brussels attacks, one year on: 'What if their hate has contaminated us?'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 22.03.17: Belgium marks the first anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 32 people. For a week now, Belgian media and politicians have been...

Read more

2017-03-22 François Fillon

French interior minister quits over holiday jobs for daughters

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 22.03.17: Another day, another scandal. Yesterday, French Interior Minister Bruno Le Roux resigned after it emerged he had hired his two daughters as...

Read more

2017-03-21 Northern Ireland

Martin McGuiness, 'terrorist turned statesman', dies at 66

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 21.03.17: Papers react to the death of Martin McGuinness, the Irish rebel who went on to be Northern Ireland's deputy first minister for a decade. He...

Read more