Why our experience and the object we experience are one

Step 7: Representation as identity

Every student knows that representations are expected to be different from what they re-present. — e.g., a representation of a red round apple does not need to be either red or round.

This is false! The traditional notion of representation contradicts the principle of identity — it does not describe the physical world where everything is just what it is. In order to represent an object, a representation must have the same properties as what it represents. Otherwise, it is only a conventionally-chosen placeholder.

Example. I draw a mark on a stone and I state that the mark stands for the moon. Or, the community of technicians states that a certain electronic configuration stands for the letter "A". Either way, conventional representations work because agreements hold. Yet such a notion cannot work in the case of the mind, because nobody makes minds out of conventional agreements.

Luckily, the Spread Mind (dis)solves the issue of representation. No conventional representations are needed — the mind is identical with what it is supposed to represent (the object O is identical with E, the experience of O).


A mental representation expresses the fact that the mind is the thing that one experiences. Thus, representing is a matter of identity. Thus, the new notion of representation is:

To represent x is to be identical with x


Riccardo Manzotti, January 27, 2015 (updated December 25st)