Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

EYE ON AFRICA

US accusing Kigali of destabilising activities in Burundi

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Bernie Sanders fires up the grass roots

Read more

THE DEBATE

Rage Against the Machine: Trump and Sanders win big in New Hampshire Primary (part 2)

Read more

THE DEBATE

Rage Against the Machine: Trump and Sanders win big in New Hampshire Primary (part 1)

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU: Is agriculture getting greener? (part 1)

Read more

TALKING EUROPE

EU: Is agriculture getting greener? (part 2)

Read more

FOCUS

A look at France's efforts to boost patriotism and social cohesion

Read more

ENCORE!

Cohen brothers' 'Hail, Caesar!' with George Clooney opens Berlin film festival

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

War in Syria: The battle for Aleppo

Read more

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.

IN THE PAPERS

IN THE PAPERS

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

2016-02-10 Syria

The stolen youth of refugee minors

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Weds. 10.02.16: Le Monde features a heartbreaking report on the fate of young refugees often left to fend for themselves and prey to human traffickers....

Read more

2016-02-10 French Parliament

Where were the MPs for the vote?

FRENCH PAPERS - Weds. 10.02.16: The French Parliament is in the spotlight today. MPs have been voting on a controversial bill to amend the constitution in the wake of last year’s...

Read more

2016-02-09 Syria

'There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other'

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Tues. 09.02.16: Syria is in the spotlight today. UN investigators accuse Bashar al-Assad’s regime of "crimes against humanity", while Russian air strikes...

Read more

2016-02-09 agribusiness

Is there a future for French farming?

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 09.02.16: The fate of French farmers is in the spotlight today. Livestock and dairy farmers have been striking for weeks now to protest low prices....

Read more

2016-02-08 Nuclear North Korea

"The trial of a Liar"

FRENCH PAPERS- Mon.08.02.16: France’s former budget minister, known as the tax czar, Jerome Cahuzac is on trial for tax evasion. The French media is reporting he used a code...

Read more