Why our experience and the object we experience are one

Step 1: A is A, everything is identical with itself

In nature, everything is identical to what it is.

Example. A rock is a rock, a star is a star, a grasshopper is a grasshopper, a molecule of H2O is a molecule of H2O. The red apple that stands on my table is just the red apple that stands on my table. Everything is identical with itself.

Everything is just what it is, but consciousness is apparently asked to be something extra it is asked to possess the properties of the world without being the world. Such a request is, of course, impossible.

To represent the world in this way, the brain would need properties that it does not have. I perceive a red apple but, obviously, my brain is neither red nor round. Such a metaphysical robbery of properties is often called "representation," and representations require the existence of magical capacities that, as far as we know, no physical entities possess.

Example. There are two natural entities A which is blue and square, and B which is red and round. Can A represent B? Of course not. A will never steal B's properties. A will just be A, and B will just be B. Likewise, the brain does not possess the properties of one's experience. The brain is different from the world one experiences. Thus, the brain is the wrong choice to be identical with consciousness. No amount of empirical research will ever find consciousness inside the brain because consciousness is not inside the brain!.

The hard problem of consciousness is a byproduct of a conceptual mistake that has asked the brain to be two things at once.

Here, I ask you to consider a much simpler solution:

In nature, everything is identical with itself. Consciousness, too, must obey the principle of identity. Therefore, there must be a physical phenomenon with exactly the properties of one's consciousness. Luckily such a phenomenon exists consciousness is the object one is conscious of.


Riccardo Manzotti, January 27, 2015 (revised November 6)