Wikipedia Is Bad Enough …

… but when you don’t actually read the disclaimer in the entry, more and more shame on you. In fact, when you are a famous philosopher and you fail to notice the “fictional” reference, it gets even worse.

I will always get a chuckle from Wikipedia gaffs and this one is a doozy, although not really Wkipedia’s fault  (link here). Thanks ResourceShelf. Apparently, noted French philosopher  Bernard-Henri Levy decided to put Emmanuel Kant in the cross-hairs in his new book, “On War In Philosophy.” One of his sources? A book penned as a fictional account by a fictional twentieth-century philosopher, Jean-Baptiste Botul. The book and Botul were a “joke” created by a journalist in 1999. Botul’s Wikipedia page explains that he is a work of fiction.

Levy, apparently, has taken an “I meant to do that” approach to the situation, explaining that the book’s arguments were sound, whether penned by Botul or the journalist behind the curtain.

Oh, this is rich. Maybe Levy should hire a research assistant.

2 comments on “Wikipedia Is Bad Enough …

  1. Pardon me if I've misinterpreted your commentary, but how is Wikipedia involved? So far as I can tell, Mr. Lévy would have been better off had he consulted Wikipedia, which has indicated the fictional nature of "Botul" all along.

    I'd say if you're looking for commentary on informational pranks, you might be better off checking out this post.

  2. I actually agree – see below from my post:

    “I will always get a chuckle from Wikipedia gaffs and this one is a doozy, although not really Wkipedia’s fault.”

    Wikipedia, in this instance, might have actually helped. Still funny to me, though, so newsworthy from my blog’s perspective on research.

    Cheers,

    Martha

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