Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Not the best way to criticize Kant

I like my Kant-bashing as much as the next utilitarian who defends the Humean theory of motivation and works on Nietzsche. But this really isn't the best line of attack:

In his latest title, Lévy launches a scathing attack on the 18th century German philosopher Immanuel Kant, calling him “raving mad” and a “fake”.

The 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.

“As it turns out, it was a hoax,” admitted the author in a blog post after the blunder was spotted by a journalist from Le Nouvel Observateur .

1 comment:

Ryan said...

I found this episode very amusing as well. I can't imagine what he was thinking.