Peter Suber

I am a policy strategist for open access to scientific and scholarly research literature. Most of my work consists of research, writing, consulting, and advocacy. I am a Senior Researcher at SPARC, the Open Access Project Director at Public Knowledge, and author of the Open Access News blog and SPARC Open Access Newsletter.

If you support open access to peer-reviewed research articles and their preprints, then read my blog and newsletter. See what's been done and what you can do to help the cause. If you're not sure what open access is, then see my overview.

Until May 2003 I was a full-time professor of philosophy at Earlham College, where I had taught since 1982. I also taught computer science and law. Although I have left full-time teaching, I am still a research professor at Earlham and still work full-time in the academic universe. My philosophical interests (formerly, my teaching interests) lie chiefly in the history of modern European philosophy, science, and literature, roughly from Montaigne to Nietzsche; Kant and Hegel; the history of western skepticism from Sextus Empiricus 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 liberty, paternalism, consent, and coercion; criminal law and tort law; and the philosophy of law. For more information, see my vita and publications.

My last book is The Case of the Speluncean Explorers:  Nine New Opinions (Routledge, 1998, reprinted with corrections 2002). See the Preface and Introduction, my page of information, or the Amazon pages on it (paperback or hardback).

Some of the looting in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was done by starving people to obtain food. (Some wasn't, but here let's focus on the first kind.) Was that looting justified by necessity? If the looters are prosecuted and plead necessity, should they be acquitted? Are you looking for a book that explores the basis and boundaries of the necessity defense?

What is judicial activism? How do judges with different moral and political beliefs interpret written law, how do they use precedents, how do they conceive the proper role of judges, how do they conceive the relationship between law and morality, and how do they defend their judicial practices against criticism? Are you looking for an even-handed book that illustrates the contending positions and lets you decide for yourself?

Ahem. Try The Case of the Speluncean Explorers: Nine New Opinions.

To have no time for philosophy is to be a true philosopher.
Pascal, Pensées.
Trans. A.J. Krailsheimer, Penguin, 1966, §513

Contacting me

  • Email ( or is the best way to reach me. If I'm too busy to reply quickly, I'll reply as soon as I can. Please don't send an attachment if you can put the message into the body of your email. If you must send an attachment, then at least explain what it is in the body of your email.
  • Please don't phone, fax, or send snail mail when you could send email instead. If you must use one of these other methods and don't know my contact info, send me an email and I'll send you the number or adddress.

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