A step backwards in philosophy’s search for truth:

[Bernard-Henri Lévy’s latest book,] De la guerre en philosophie (On War in Philosophy), has been greeted with the customary rapture, and its ubiquitous author has been a fixture on television and in the press all week.

In framing his case, Lévy—BHL to the Parisian cognoscenti—drew on the writings of the little-known 20th century thinker Jean-Baptiste Botul—author of The Sex Life of Immanuel Kant, and a man Lévy has cited in lectures.

The problem? Botul never existed. He was invented by a journalist from the satirical newspaper Le Canard Enchaîné 10 years ago as an elaborate joke. And since the hoax was revealed, BHL has become a laughing stock.

The entire article, from The Irish Times, is worth reading. [Via Matt Yglesias.]