The theory of semiotics is a framework for understanding how one comes to ‘knowledge’. In other words it is an epistemology. It works under the assumption that every thing that we come to accept as real is officially a process of decoding signage and creating the reality which an individual comes to accept as Real or real. The former being an objective reality and the latter being a subjective reality. In fact it may be more correctly understood as a meta-paradigm through which one comes to view the world; all of the past, present and future. Bakker’s IN – S – OR model helps break down the basic mechanics of semiotics and when properly understood implies many concepts which must be deduced. If the theory of semiotics is true in the fullest sense (objectively) it would have to be true and active in all times and spaces of existence. Semiotics works on an abstract dialectic comparable to that of Hegel and when studied thoroughly as John Deeley has in Four Ages of Understanding strong evidence is given that the ‘theory of signs’ has not only been metaphysically active throughout recorded history but has also been practically studied throughout history (possibly Randal Collins also).
The most radical aspects of semiotics is that it implies both that there is an ultimate Reality (although this point can be argued) and consequently there is ultimate meaning. Going back to Bakker’s (2005) IN – S – OR model the OR is concerned with or moving toward the Reality while the S is where the debate of ultimate meaning takes place. I say that the S is where the debate of ultimate meaning takes place because its meaning hinges on who the IN is. When dealing with the S a well rounded IN needs to view all or most other INs interpretation(s) of the S, and some how come out with an accepted OR.
I want to focus on this Reality, if there is a Reality there must be a Truth. The beautiful thing of semiotics is that it acknowledges the fact that most likely there is a gap and there will most likely always be a gap between what I or any individual or IN perceives as real and what in fact is Real. This view, along with some humility has potential to mend the long standing battle between ‘subjective’ and ‘objective’. It is suddenly not necessary for one to feel that they must defend objectivism or that they must firmly embrace subjectivism. If I come to accept that most likely most of what I perceive as true or real is in fact not completely and infallibly True or Real, than in my individual existence my understanding and all of my knowledge is built on ‘belief’. Now whether this is True or true it would mean that what one chooses to believe is in fact either the most important part of one's life or it is the biggest waste of time, energy, and effort a person can pursue. I guess it depends on what one ‘believes’.
C. S. Peirce accepts the notion of there being something ontologically real. In fact, he believes that there must be “real things” for there to be science.