“we live in a world that has been vastly altered by our cognitive abilities such that we inhabit not only the empirical world of physical entities but also the world of sign systems, which are a direct result of our cumulative interactions with the world (and each other) over time. Thus, the relationship between the subject and the object is dealt in a pragmatic way, where external phenomena are experienced as signs that are meaningful to the organism and there is no separation of the two.” (p144)
The experience of an empirical authentic relationship within an environment between the person and the objects in that environment is mediated by the inauthentic semiotics of what those same objects afford to the person as to how they can be used. O’Neill argues that there is no separation between the modes of a meaningful existence, “Because we perceive before we conceive, we find that the body is at the root of our conceptual apparatus as well as being able to engage with the world without having to think about it” (p158). As the human is an essential organism in the environment and not distinct from the environment. Seen in a pragmatic way, the semiotic signs from the objects in the environment communicates meanings that lead to action that impacts on the nature of the same environment.