a cartesian thought
this sounds terribly heretical, and perhaps its not entirely right for a thomist to draw inspiration from Descartes, but what’s stopping me. We know well the idea that when one doubts one’s doubting one is still doubting; there are some performative acts that do not escape us, even when we resist it, or precisely when we resist it. Or in a similar vein, perhaps there is some act A which achieves goal G, even when one fails to achieve G through A. So for instance, When trying to deny God’s existence, one ends up still thinking about God, even if unintentionally. Or: a broken hearted girl who hates and spends her time hating a boy, but precisely when hating him, loves him by thinking (still!) about him. These are crude instances.
For a certain activity A, A achieves G, even when A seems, on the surface, to failt achieve A.
Could a semiosic study not also achieve this? Someone who struggles to relate (semiosically transubstantiate) sign A to G, but fails to convincingly, actually still does – performatively, because he/she spends his/her time holding before his/her mind both A and G, and so are related. When A is not related to G, A is still related to G when A is though of as “not related to G” precisely because one thinks about A in connection to G, even though the logical connection is somewhat unstable; the semiosic connection could yet exist.