To speak of, say, a sincere sofa is to commit what philosophers call a “category mistake” — sofas are incapable of sincerity.
This observation comes from George Will, the Washington Post columnist, in a column that ran yesterday. Will, incidentally, is appearing today as a participant in a panel at the Leon Panetta 2018 Lecture Series at the Monterey Conference Center. Will is taking a spot on the panel previously allocated to John Bolton, presumably because Bolton's new assignment as the president's national security adviser has mandated such a rearrangement of Bolton's schedule.
The Panetta forum will focus on the topic: Global Crisis and the American Dream — America First or America as a World Leader? Judging from Will's Sunday column, I think that he and Bolton would probably not agree on how to respond to that question.
Will, in other words, is not a Bolton fan. Nor is he a fan of our current president. There is another "category mistake" highlighted in Will's column:
To speak of this president’s convictions (or plans, or policies) about this or that is a category mistake. Let’s say this one more time: Trump. Has. No. Convictions.
My blog posting yesterday noted the troubling aspects of the appointment of Bolton by a president who "has. no. convictions." Thus, I thought it appropriate to advertise Will's column, and his local appearance in Monterey.
I am generally not much of a Will fan, but on this matter: Will. Gets. It. Right.