Quotation by Walker Percy

But what is a symbol? A symbol does not direct our attention to something else as a sign does. It does not direct at all. It "means" something else. It somehow comes to contain within itself the thing it means. The word "ball" is a sign to my dog and a symbol to me. If I say "ball" to my dog, he will respond like a good Pavlovian organism and look under the sofa and fetch it. But if I say "ball" to you, you will simply look at me and, if you are patient, finally say, "What about it?" The dog responds to the word by looking for thing; you conceive the ball through the word "ball."
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