Why are there still hard copy philosophical journals and books? Why is so much on-line philosophy hidden behind subscription walls? Why are universities, students and researchers being forced to pay for access to information authors would happily give away for free?
Who disagrees with this:
The Internet has fundamentally changed the practical and economic realities of distributing scientific knowledge and cultural heritage. For the first time ever, the Internet now offers the chance to constitute a global and interactive representation of human knowledge, including cultural heritage and the guarantee of worldwide access.
Our mission of disseminating knowledge is only half complete if the information is not made widely and readily available to society. New possibilities of knowledge dissemination not only through the classical form but also and increasingly through the open access paradigm via the Internet have to be supported. We define open access as a comprehensive source of human knowledge and cultural heritage that has been approved by the scientific community.
In order to realize the vision of a global and accessible representation of knowledge, the future Web has to be sustainable, interactive, and transparent. Content and software tools must be openly accessible and compatible.
Shouldn't philosophers be especially sensitive to the moral and intellectual imperatives of the open access movement? Why is it that scientists have been so much more ready to embrace it than philosophers?
When I put this question to professional philosophers I hear two different kinds of arguments. One foolish and one cynical.