Noga Arikha



Noga Arikha was born and raised in Paris, one of two daughters of painter Avigdor Arikha and poet Anne Atik. She left for London for her studies, taking a BA in German and Philosophy at King’s College, London. After a spell working in New York as editorial assistant to Bob Silvers at the New York Review of Books, she joined the Warburg Institute. There she earned an MA in the early modern history of ideas and then a PhD in History, with a thesis on the mind-body relation in the late 17th century (the full text is here). From 2002 to 2011, she lived in New York. She was an "Arts and Neuroscience" Fellow at the Italian Academy for Advanced Studies in America, at Columbia University, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Humanities at Bard College and at the Bard Graduate Center, NYC. Since 2011, she has been based in Paris with her husband and two sons.

Noga Arikha is a philosopher and historian of ideas, particularly interested in the relation between mind and body, and in tracing the genealogy of the concepts that pertain to it. She initially focused on life sciences in early modern Europe, but her interests encompass a broad range of periods, cultures and disciplines. She works with neuroscientists and neurologists as a science humanist, fostering dialogues between scientists, social scientists and humanists in order to bring to a general audience accessible accounts that analyse the origins of our deepest concerns about our embodied selves.

Noga is a Research Associate at the Institut Jean Nicod of the Ecole Normale Supérieure (Paris), and a member of the SPHERE Research Unit of Université Paris 7 Diderot (Paris).


Her critically acclaimed first book, Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours, published in the US by Ecco (HarperCollins) and in Italy by Bompiani, was a New York Times Review Editor’s Choice for July 2007 and one of the Washington Post Best Non-Fiction Books for 2007. (The book website is here.) 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, published in the US/UK by Palgrave Macmillan and in Italy by Bompiani.
She has now completed a book on brain, self and medicine based on neuropsychiatric clinical cases, and is writing a biography of anthropologist Franz Boas.