The Brain as a Kinetic System
The Churchlands find vector progressions in the brain, or what Paul thinks of as neural kinematics (in classical physics, kinematics is the branch of mechanics dealing with motion of bodies). Paul also thinks of folk psychology kinematically—a movement between sentences. So the brain has neural kinematics, and folk psychology has sentence or propositional kinematics. Folk psychology suffers from low kinematics: it is linear, one-dimensional, and less powerful than neural kinematics. To understand the brain, we go beneath the level of one-dimensional kinematics of sentences and propositions to the multidimensional level of neural kinematics. We seek explanations for questions such as how the brain senses and perceives, and how it allows us to respond to the environment around us and process information. According to Paul’s account, these are kinematical questions: what type of kinematics occur in our visual system when we see, touch something, or move our bodies?
If we could understand how neural kinematics cause us to behave the way we do in the world, then we would understand how the mind works. Folk psychology hides these kinematics. If we abandon folk psychology and concentrate on the brain’s vector processing, we might tap into a new field of brain communication applications. We know the brain hemispheres communicate through the corpus callosum. Suppose we decode these interhemispheric kinematics. Could we hook up people’s brains to each other and transmit information? Could we hook up brains to libraries and neurally download information? These scenarios assume that information is neurologically transferred, stored, and processed as vector data, but even so, how would we account for intentionality and consciousness? How do we get from brain kinematics to consciousness? Consciousness is to be explained in terms of vector- based transformations in recursive networks.