“Peirce characteristically begins not with the classification of signs as promised—Icon, Index, and Symbol—but with his cenopythagorean categories which, in Quaker style, he had named Firstness, Secondness, Thirdness. They were the modes of being [Latour], ways that both ideas and things exist in the world, and though the analysis of just how they are related involves Peirce in noting degrees and reciprocities which must be named and adjusted, he manages to proclaim more than once that for his ideoscopy, it is Thirdness which is all-important, chiefly because it allows him to define a sign: ‘A Third is something which brings a First into relation to a second…A sign is a sort of Third…A sign is something by knowing which, we know something more (S. and S., p. 31)'” (59). **The third is the mediator/mediation/relationality. It is relationality emerging/formationing into being.
“From strong to weak versions”
Berthoff argues that Whorf’s thinking has enjoyed a legacy “precisely because of” the “vagueness” of his terms, and that his admirers have dealt with the “unsupportability” of Whorf’s claims by making them more vague (12).
Berthoff, Ann E. “Sapir and the Two Tasks of Language.” Semiotica, vol. 71, no. 1/2, Sept. 1988, pp. 1-47.