the knowability of the sign

“The relation of knowability to a cognitive power precedes and is presupposed for the rationale of a sign: for it pertains to the rationale common to any object or cognizable thing. But for the rationale of a sign it is further required that the knowability of the sign be connected and coordinated with another, that is, a thing signified, so that the sign substitutes for and is subordinated and servile to that thing in bringing it to mind. And thus the relation of this knowability of the sign to that of the significate will also be an essentially mind-independent relation, because it is founded on the proportion and greater connection which this knowability has relative to that knowability rather than to some other, so that the sign can substitute for that knowability and be vicegerent, and this is given on the side of physical nature, as is also the exercise of representing to the cognitive power, even though the order and relation to the cognitive power is not mind-independent” (John Poinsot, Treatise on Signs, p.140)

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