Mistaken Identity

The Mind-Brain Problem Reconsidered

By Leslie Brothers

Subjects: Philosophy Of Mind
Series: SUNY series in Science, Technology, and Society
Paperback : 9780791451885, 112 pages, November 2001
Hardcover : 9780791451878, 112 pages, November 2001

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Table of contents


1. The Mind-Brain Problem
2. Pictures
3. Problem? What Problem?
4. Bringing out the Hammers and Saws
5. Let's Not Be Critical
6. Getting It Wrong
7. Cults, Mysteries, and Money
8. An Unequal Match
9. Social Neuroscience
10. Look Again


This “unauthorized biography” of cognitive neuroscience unveils hidden errors in current mind-body accounts and sheds new light on basic scientific issues.


Neuroscientist Leslie Brothers argues that our understanding of the brain is determined by popular beliefs about the mind. She critiques "neuroism," which explains the mind in terms of individual brains, and shows that widely held assumptions about the promise of contemporary brain research are largely false. This book opens up new territory as it uncovers the real connections among human biology, human sociality, and the mind.

Leslie Brothers is a private consultant in Los Angeles and the author of Friday's Footprint: How Society Shapes the Human Mind.


"Mistaken Identity is a bold, incisive, witty, provocative examination of one of the most pressing philosophical and scientific problems of our time, and could become a significant new rallying point in the consciousness wars. " — John Horgan, author of The Undiscovered Mind: How the Human Brain Defies Replication, Medication, and Explanation

"This book provides a subtle and very important criticism of many ordinary ways of understanding the relation of mind and brain. " — Nancey Murphy, coeditor of Neuroscience and the Person: Scientific Perspectives on Divine Action