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).

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.

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.
  • Since 2001 or so, my interests have centered on policies, practices, and technologies that foster research, especially those that foster the growth, sharing, use, and usefulness of research. In addition to promoting these policies, practices, and technologies, I want to understand how the internet has changed research, how it ought to change research, and what it would mean to take full advantage of the internet for research.

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 remained an unremunerated research professor at Earlham until 2019, when I became emeritus.

Social media

  • From May 2002 to April 2010, I blogged heavily 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, 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. OAN is preserved and searchable in several places. See more details here.
  • From July 2011 to April 2019, I blogged lightly at Google+, about 1,400 posts over 8 years. Because Google pulled the plug on G+, most of those posts are no longer online, though I may soon be able to link to archived copies. See more details here. Also see my handmade list of major G+ posts, with links to copies in the Internet Archive.
  • Since the death of G+, I've been looking for a new blogging platform.
    • My main criteria are convenience for me (not requiring me to host anything), support for open-access posts (not limited to users of the platform), support for links from words and phrases (not limited to spelled-out URLs), support for posts of 1,000 words or longer, support for revising the text after posting, support for comments, support for deep-links to individual posts, and reliance (in whole or part) on free and open-source software.
    • So far I haven't found a platform that meets all these criteria. My earlier platforms didn't meet them all either, but I settled and I'm prepared to settle again. I just want to keep exploring first.
    • I have accounts on Diaspora, Dock, Hastac, LinkedIn, Mastodon, Medium, MeWe, Okuna, Openbook, and PASHpost — realizing that not all these are in the same niche. Most I've ruled out but I'm still testing a few of them.
    • I deleted my experimental Facebook account years ago, for reasons like those laid out in this 2010 article, and updated in this 2018 article.

Related pages

  • My page on conflicts of interest.
    • This is the only place where I try to list the sources of my past and present funding.

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'm phasing out <psuber@law.harvard.edu>, <psuber@cyber.harvard.edu>, and <peters@earlham.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 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