ONT Re: Sign Relations
| A 'Sign', or 'Representamen', is a First which stands
| in such a genuine triadic relation to a Second, called
| its 'Object', as to be capable of determining a Third,
| called its 'Interpretant', to assume the same triadic
| relation to its Object in which it stand itself to
| the same Object.
| The triadic relation is 'genuine', that is, its three members are
| bound together by it in a way that does not consist in any complexus
| of dyadic relations. That is the reason the Interpretant, or Third,
| cannot stand in a mere dyadic relation to the Object, but must stand
| in such a relation to it as the Representamen itself does.
| Nor can the triadic relation in which the Third stands be merely similar
| to that in which the First stands, for this would make the relation of the
| Third to the First a degenerate Secondness merely. The Third must indeed
| stand in such a relation, and thus must be capable of determining a Third
| of its own; but besides that, it must have a second triadic relation in
| which the Representamen, or rather the relation thereof to its Object,
| shall be its own (the Third's) Object, and must be capable of determining
| a Third to this relation. All this must equally be true of the Third's
| Third and so on endlessly; and this, and more, is involved in the familiar
| idea of a Sign; and as the term Representamen is here used, nothing more
| is implied.
| A 'Sign' is a Representamen with a mental Interpretant.
| Possibly there may be Representamens that are not Signs.
| Thus, if a sunflower, in turning towards the sun, becomes by that very act
| fully capable, without further condition, of reproducing a sunflower which
| turns in precisely corresponding ways toward the sun, and of doing so with
| the same reproductive power, the sunflower would become a Representamen of
| the sun.
| But 'thought' is the chief, if not the only, mode of representation.
| C.S. Peirce, "Syllabus" (c.1902), 'Collected Papers', CP 2.274.
| NB. For ease of study, I divided this into smaller paragraphs.