The triadic character of the meaning situation has often been pointed out. Where there is meaning there must be at least the symbol which means, the meaning itself, and the referent of the meaning. The essential difficulty with the conception of meaning lies in the necessity of considering a meaning as a relationship—and yet not as the usual type of relationship, because it often exists in the absence of one of its terms. The advantage of the relational interpretation lies in the vivid way in which it makes clear the location of the content of the meaning in the relation itself. The aspect of the interpretation of symbols which it is particularly important to emphasize is the dependence of the meaning of symbols upon the referents and upon the operations involved in passing from the referents to the meaning character.