ABSTRACT. This paper arises out of a keynote presentation given at the inaugural Science in Society conference at the University of Cambridge, 5-7 August, 2009.1 It emerges from some thinking about the nature of openness as a philosophical concept that I develop in a book called The Virtues of Openness: Education, Science and Scholarship in the Digital Age co-authored with Peter Roberts (Paradigm Press, 2011). Philosophy of open science rests on seven interrelated propositions that I state here without justification or argument. They are, if you will, ‘observations’ or working hypotheses to be confirmed (or falsified). Each of these propositions has a complex and contested history in philosophy and science and the aim of this paper is to scope the philosophy of open science rather than to defend seven these propositions. The first part of the paper discusses narratives of openness, focusing on the major philosophical conceptions as they have been developed by Henri Bergson, Karl Popper (and Friedrich Hayek, George Soros), Ludwig Wittgenstein and Umberto Eco, teasing out the significance of a Wittgensteinian view of open science. The next section foregrounds ‘technologies of openness’ and their relations to scientific communication before highlighting ‘open science’ as an aspect of an emergent global science system. pp. 105–142

Keywords: philosophy, open, science, Wittgenstein, technology, digital


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University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology

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