Peter Suber

From Peter Suber
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This wiki-based home page has been my main home page since June 2013.

My work and primary affiliations

  • My primary field is philosophy (Ph.D., Northwestern University, 1978). I'm also a non-practicing lawyer (J.D., Northwestern, 1982).



My latest book is Knowledge Unbound (MIT Press, 2016). It's available in paperback, hardback, and many open-access editions (same text, different file formats).


My last book before that is Open Access (MIT Press, 2012). It's available in paperback and many open-access editions (same text, different file formats). I keep it alive with frequent updates and supplements. Choice named Open Access an Outstanding Academic Title for 2013.
  • Nearly all my publications are open access from my section of DASH (the Harvard open-access repository), my Earlham web site, a publisher's site, or some combination of these.
    • One kind of exception is an older, print-only publication for which I don't yet have a digital edition. Over the years I've gradually created digital editions where I didn't have them, and I'm nearly done.
    • Another kind of exception is a work for which I have a digital edition but not permission for open access. The only exception of this kind is The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions (Routledge, 1998). I published it before I started thinking hard about OA. I've asked Routledge to make the book OA, but it declined. I'm still willing to do so as soon as Routledge is. If Routledge doesn't make it OA while the book is still in print, then I'll make it OA as soon is it goes out of print and the rights revert to me.

Academic interests

  • When I was a philosophy prof (1982-2003), I specialized in Kant and German idealism; the history of modern European philosophy, roughly from Montaigne to Nietzsche; the history of western skepticism from Socrates to the 20th century; epistemological and ethical issues related to skepticism, such as fictionalism, ideology, self-deception, and the ethics of belief; the logical, epistemological, ethical, and legal problems of self-reference; the metatheory of first-order logic; the ethics of paternalism, consent, and coercion; and the philosophy of law. I retain an interest in all these topics, and have since added some new ones: the connections between ancient Greek skepticism and Indian Buddhism (via Pyrrho), the naturalization of ethics, and concepts of randomness.
  • In my post-prof life, my interests center on policies, practices, and technologies that foster knowledge, especially those that foster the growth, sharing, integration, use, and usefulness of knowledge. In addition to promoting these policies, practices, and technologies, I want to understand how the internet has changed research, scholarship, and education, how it ought to change them, and what it would mean to take full advantage of the internet for these purposes.

Other current affiliations

Background and past affiliations

  • In May 2003 I gave up my position as a tenured, full professor of philosophy at Earlham College, where I had taught since 1982. I also taught computer science and law. I left my professorship in order to work full-time on open access to research, which I've done ever since. However, I'm still a research professor at Earlham and still work full-time in the academic universe.

Related pages

Social media

  • I tweet as @petersuber and blog at Google+ as +petersuber.
    • I have accounts on Diaspora, Dock, LinkedIn, and Mastodon (not all these are in exactly the same niche). But I don't use them. I deleted my Facebook account for reasons like those laid out in this 2010 article.
    • Although I'm picky about social-media sites, that doesn't mean that I love the two I use. On the contrary, Twitter and Google+ both feed online centralization, which I oppose. In their surveillance of my online habits, they take more from my privacy than they give back in features or other benefits. They both do their part to turn universal Turing machines into dumb terminals plugged in to a corporate cloud. Neither is built on free and open-source software, failing my own recommendation for other digital tools and infrastructure. And simply on the merits, or doing what I want social-media platforms to do, they're both deteriorating. The niche for something better grows larger all the time. Before you write, I recognize that by using them, I boost their network effects, and help entrench them against better alternatives. That's one reason why I actively monitor the emergence of alternatives.
    • If you have a serious question for me, please consider a channel that gives me space for a serious answer, like email or Google+, not Twitter.
  • Nowadays I post little to social media. But from 2002 from 2010 I blogged intensively at Open Access News — about 18,000 posts over 8 years, with occasional blogging partners.
    • OAN was my attempt to stay on top of all that was happening with OA and share what I learned. It was useful while it lasted, but it didn't scale with the growth of OA. That failure to scale led me to launch the crowd-sourced and tag-based Open Access Tracking Project in 2009, and lay down my blog about a year later. I explained why I was making the transition in a May 2009 article in my newsletter.
    • The blog is preserved and searchable in several places. For details, see the section on my blog in my page on the History of Open Access.

Contacting me

  • My primary email addresses are and
    • I also use <>.
    • I no longer use <> and I'm phasing out <>. If you have them in your address book, please replace them with one of the above.
  • Email is the best way to reach me. If you want to contact me by phone, text, fax, snail mail, or some other way, and don't want to go through the Office for Scholarly Communication, then send me an email and I'll tell you how. If you send me a message by social media, I probably won't see it.

"To have no time for philosophy is to be a true philosopher."

     Pascal, Pensées.
     Trans. A.J. Krailsheimer, Penguin, 1966, §513