This chapter offers a long‐overdue semiotic analysis of the phenomenon of conscience. It is remarkable that such an analysis has not yet been attempted, because conscience has always been understood as something like a voice signing, and not just unimportantly, but as the voice of God. One could well have expected that an analysis of conscience would have been first on the semiotician’s tick list. Using Martin Heidegger’s phenomenological analysis of conscience as a guide, it turns out that a simple Peircean analysis in terms of representamen, object and interpretant is at least a good way of opening the phenomenon up with the semiotician’s tools. My conclusions point to the uniqueness of the sign of conscience among all signs. For it is one sign where all three moments—representamen, object and interpretant—are the very same entity. Given the existential semiotic reduction—without remainder—of the subject to a structured network of signs, one can then glimpse the extraordinary conclusion that in the phenomenon of conscience we encounter the signing of semiosis itself—the sign of signs. It is no wonder, then, that it has been understood to be the voice of God. I finish by developing the ethical ramifications of my analysis for semiotics.
Part of the book: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Semiotics