Existence of meaning

The first problem is the existence of meaning.

  1. When something is considered a symbol, it immediately produces a meaning. There is no meaning without symbol, and there is no symbol without meaning.

1.1. Therefore meaning is produced by our intention to see a sense data as symbol.

  1. The meaning of a symbol can be expressed with other symbols or immediate sense data. A sound can be considered a word and written down, then dictionaries provide other symbols for this written down symbol.

2.1. A symbol can produce infinitely many symbols as interpretation. However, the equality between a symbol and its production is also a meaning, hence dependent to the symbol-producer. (Writer, utterer, painter.)

  1. If something is a sign then we can agree that it's a sign of something. There is meaning if there is a connection between something that is called a sign and another thing that it can refer to.

  2. Suppose there is no meaning, i.e., there is no meaning that can be presented with symbol. If there is no meaning, then there should be no need to produce symbol.

4.1. Hence the intention to produce the meaning creates meaning.

  1. A symbol can be denoting itself. All things in world can be said to mean themselves. Even in this case, we temporally create meaning: symbol in the past, symbol in the future references to symbol in the present.

5.1. Even if a symbol refers to itself, that is we consider an ostensive definition of a symbol to refer to itself, there is an intention behind to consider it as a symbol.

  1. So if there is a sign, there is a meaning. The meaning of a sign may change depending to context, to mind or other factors but the existence of meaning is inherent in the sign.

  2. Suppose someone tries to produce a sign that doesn't have a meaning. In this case, the sign will have the meaning that signs may have no meaning. Hence if a sign is put somewhere it certainly has a meaning, even meaninglessness is a meaning.