“These approaches fail to recognize that signs also exist well beyond the human (a fact that changes how we should think about human semiosis as well). Life is constitutively semiotic. That is, life is, through and through, the product of sign processes (Bateson 2000c, 2002; Deacon 1997; Hoffmeyer 2008; Kull et al. 2009). What differentiates life from the inanimate physical world is that life-forms represent the world in some way or another, and these representations are intrinsic to their being. What we share with nonhuman living creatures, then, is not our embodiment, as certain strains of phenomenological approaches would hold, but the fact that we all live with and through signs. We all use signs as “canes” that represent parts of the world to us in some way or another. In doing so, signs make us what we are.
Three Blind Men, Hakuin