Noga Arikha

Noga Arikha is a philosopher and historian of ideas. Her first book, Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2007; Bompiani, 2009) was a New York Times Review Editor’s Choice and one of the Washington Post Best Non-Fiction Books for 2007. Her second book, a biography of Lucien Bonaparte co-authored with her husband Marcello Simonetta, was Napoleon and the Rebel: A Story of Brotherhood, Passion, and Power (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011; Bompiani, 2011).

She was born and raised in Paris, then lived and studied in London. She took a PhD from the Warburg Institute before moving to New York in 2002. She was an “Arts and Neuroscience” Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies at Columbia University, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Humanities at Bard College and at the Bard Graduate Center. In 2011, she returned to Paris with her family. She is a Research Associate at the Institut Jean Nicod of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), and, since 2020, an Associate Fellow at the Warburg Institute. In spring 2021 she moved to Tuscany with her husband and two sons.

The Ceiling Outside: Tales of Meandering Minds and Embodied Selves from the Clinical Front, an exploration of brain, self, dementia and medicine based on the stories of neuropsychiatric patients, is forthcoming from Basic Books (UK and US) in Spring 2022. She is currently writing a biography of anthropologist Franz Boas for the “Jewish Lives” series of Yale University Press.

Her various essays and articles on brains, bodies, minds, wine and more, for Aeon, Lapham’s Quarterly and others, can be read via her website,