1. Jean-Baptiste Botul
In February 2010, the famous French philosopher Bernard-Henri Levy was duped by a fake 20th-century philosopher, Jean-Baptiste Botul. When Levy made some incendiary claims about Immanuel Kant, calling him “raving mad” and a “fake,” he used Botul for support. Turns out it wasn’t Kant who was the fake: Botul is a fictional French philosopher created in 1995 by journalist Frédéric Pagès and other members of a group calling itself the Association of the Friends of Jean-Baptiste Botul. Originating as a literary hoax, the names of both Botul and his philosophy of botulism derive from botulism, a terrible illness caused by the bacterium Clostridium botulinum. There is now an annual Botul Prize awarded for a book that mentions Botul.
2. “Da Vinci Code”…
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