Peter Suber

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This wiki-based home page has been my main home page since June 2013. If I move to another page, I'll say so here and link to the new page.

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).

Writings

 

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.

Interests

  • When I was a teaching, publishing philosophy prof (c. 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 Buddhism (via Pyrrho), the naturalization of ethics, and concepts of randomness.
  • In my post-prof life, my interests center on policies and technologies that foster knowledge, especially those that foster the growth, sharing, use, and usefulness of knowledge. In addition to promoting these policies and technologies, I want to understand how the internet has changed research and education, how it ought to change them, and what it would mean to take full advantage of the internet for research and education.

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, LinkedIn, Mastodon, and other social-media platforms, but 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 the two I use have my unqualified endorsements. On the contrary, Twitter and Google+ are both deteriorating, and the niche for something better grows larger all the time.
    • 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 — roughly 18,000 posts over 8 years, with occasional 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. I laid it down soon after I launched the crowd-sourced and tag-based Open Access Tracking Project. I explained why I was making the transition in a May 2009 article in my newsletter. The OAN archive remains online for searching, with another copy preserved in a section of Harvard's H-Sites.

Contacting me

  • My primary email addresses are peter_suber@harvard.edu and peter.suber@gmail.com.
    • I also use <psuber@cyber.law.harvard.edu>.
    • I no longer use <peters@earlham.edu> or <psuber@law.harvard.edu>. 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 don't want to go through the Harvard Office for Scholarly Communication, and want to contact me by phone, fax, snail mail, or some other way, 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