For some time, I have harbored the intuition that semiotics contains great potential both for defeating physicalism, and, with some work, for clarifying the potency of truly rational agency (i.e. "free will").
Here is my intuition:
Because semiotic fecundity is in principle not reducible to its material base, and since humans are endlessly semiotic agents, therefore human agency is not reducible to the material web of signs, including every discernible sign in the human organism. In other words, since the significatum is never purely identical to the signans [LINK], and since humans constantly trade in significata by essentially indeterminate signans, therefore humans' rational discourse is in principle not reducible to its material instantiation(s). The energy extractable from the intrinsically possible significance of any signum is intrinsically irreducible to the extractable physical energy of the signum, and a fortiori of the entire web of signs. As such, physicalism is false and humans are semiotically free. This freedom is not utterly separable from the science of semiotics, though it is in principle irreducible to it, which means human freedom is reducible to matter in way that satisfies the possible extremes of exact physical science (EPS) but does not collapse into materialism, much less physicalism.
I think a similar point is made in chapter X of this recent book.
Anyone want to buy me that book so I can know more? heheh