Dr Noga Arikha

Contact details

Dr Noga Arikha
MA and PhD at Warburg Institute
Position/Fellowship type:
Associate Fellow
Warburg Institute
Home institution:
Yale University Press
Email address:

Research Summary and Profile

Research interests:
Language and Literature (Italian)
Summary of research interests and expertise:

Noga Arikha is a philosopher and historian of ideas. She works as a science humanist, fostering dialogues between neuroscientists, psychologists, clinicians, 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.


Though her interests encompass a broad range of periods, cultures and disciplines, she initially focused on life sciences in early modern Europe, coming to the Warburg Institute in 1997, where she earned an MA in the early modern history of ideas and wrote her PhD thesis on the mind-body relation in the late 17th century (the full text is here(Opens in new window)). 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(Opens in new window), at Columbia University, and Visiting Assistant Professor in the Humanities at Bard College(Opens in new window) and at the Bard Graduate Center.(Opens in new window) She lived in Paris from 2011, where she has been a Research Associate at the Institut Jean Nicod(Opens in new window). In Spring 2021, she moved to Florence. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the European University Institute (Fiesole).


Her critically acclaimed latest book, The Ceiling Outside: The Science and Experience of the Disrupted Mind(Opens in new window), is an exploration of brain, self, dementia and medicine based on the stories of neuropsychiatric patients, published by Basic Books (UK and US) in Spring 2022. 

Her first book, Passions and Tempers: A History of the Humours(Opens in new window), 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. 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(Opens in new window), published in the US/UK by Palgrave Macmillan and in Italy by Bompiani.

She is currently writing a biography of anthropologist Franz Boas for the “Jewish Lives” series of Yale University Press.


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