Words are but shorthand to reality

It is certainly within Peircean semiotics that the most straightforward link between semiotic processes and processes of cognition can be found, so much so that this direction in semiotics is often referred to as cognitive semiotics. According to Peirce, KNOWLEDGE ACQUISITION and thought are never immediate, direct processes but are always mediated through signs, or interpretants, which are more developed signs and which thus allow the subject to know more than she knew before, in an endless process of interpretation known as unlimited semiosis. Interpretants, which are the central element in the sign process, are first of all mind-internal signs, that is to say mental representations. In this way, thought, signs, and cognition become one and the same thing. "All thought is in signs" (Collected Papers 5: 252), but because each interpretant sign adds something new to the process of thinking and knowing, cognition is strongly characterized as an inferential process.

em http://ai.ato.ms/MITECS/Entry/violi.html

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