Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

A "culture of police brutality" in Baltimore

Read more

DEBATE

Baltimore Burns: Government Declares Emergency After Night of Riots (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Baltimore Burns: Government Declares Emergency After Night of Riots (part 1)

Read more

ENCORE!

'Mad Men' creator Matthew Weiner on cigarettes, the 60s and Don Draper’s charm

Read more

FOCUS

Video: Experimental Ebola vaccine gives hope to Guinea

Read more

FASHION

Craftsmen passionate about their trade

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

Burundi: Protests continue against President Nkurunziza

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Greece reins in Varoufakis in bailout team 'reshuffle'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Did Jean-Marie Le Pen have a secret bank account in Switzerland?

Read more

Live from the newsroom, we provide an overview of the stories making the French and international newspaper headlines. From Monday to Friday 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

2015-04-28 unemployment

Did Jean-Marie Le Pen have a secret bank account in Switzerland?

FRENCH PAPERS - Tues. 28.04.15: Though unemployment increased last month, the future could be bright. According to a new report published today, unemployment will decrease by...

Read more

2015-04-27 migrant

Nepal vows not to be crippled by deadly quake

Live from the newsroom, Oliver Farry provides us with an overview of today's international newspaper headlines.

Read more

2015-04-27 Nepal

Nepal devastated by biggest earthquake since 1934

Live from the newsroom, Oliver Farry provides an overview of today's French newspaper headlines.

Read more

2015-04-24 Armenian genocide

Armenian genocide: 100 years of solitude, 100 years of attitude

INTERNATIONAL PAPERS, Fri. 24.04.15: Papers across the world commemorate the centenary of the Armenian genocide. Why won't Turkey face the facts, 100 years later? And is...

Read more

2015-04-23 terrorism

'Programmed to kill'

FRENCH PAPERS - Thurs. 23.04.15: The leading story in the French press today is the arrest of a man who was allegedly planning to "attack churches" in the Paris area. This has...

Read more