Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

Calais: a no-man's land for migrants

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

Poland protests for right to abort

Read more

THE DEBATE

Poland's existential struggle: Abortion debate spurs protests over right-wing shift

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

'Equatorial Guinea's attempted coup began in France,' President Obiang tells FRANCE 24

Read more

ENCORE!

Film show: '3 Billboards', 'In The Fade' and 'Downsizing'

Read more

FOCUS

Why Hong Kong is Asia's electronic garbage dump

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

IOM chief: 'Migrants are the quintessential agents of development'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Nigerian army releases 244 Boko Haram suspects

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Bitcoin takes a tumble over regulation fears

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

2018-01-17 Rohingya

Actor Aziz Ansari accused of sexual assault, but is it just 'revenge porn'?

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Wednesday, January 17: We look at reaction to the repatriation deal that sees Bangladesh sending Rohingya people back to Burma. Also, after Aziz Ansari is...

Read more

2018-01-16 France

Irony? Lebanon bans Steven Spielberg's film about censorship

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Tuesday, January 16: Emmanuel Macron is in Calais to discuss his controversial policy on French asylum. Pope Francis heads to Chile and Peru amid...

Read more

2018-01-15 Donald Trump

Citizen protest: Artist projects s***hole onto Trump's Washington hotel

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Monday, January 15: Is the #MeToo movement starting to bear fruit? We look at a prominent French video game developer, photographer Mario Testino and a...

Read more

2018-01-15 Catherine Deneuve

Catherine Deneuve (sort of) apologises for anti-#MeToo op-ed

IN THE WORLD PAPERS - Monday, January 15: Catherine Deneuve offers a semi-apology following last week's controversial Le Monde op-ed criticising the #MeToo movement as...

Read more

2018-01-12 El Salvador

S***hole or Shithole? Press grapples with Donald Trump's latest profanity

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS - Friday, Jan. 12, 2018: From asterisks to "S-hole," The New York Times offers a breakdown of how American media outlets handled Donald Trump's alleged use...

Read more