We are happy to introduce Euporia, the portal for Open Access philosophy and philosophy of Open Science. The Euporia portal is still under construction but if you visit euporia.org you can already get an idea of what this portal intends to be: a platform aggregating digital resources in philosophy for increasing their discoverability and fostering the dissemination in Open Access of new philosophical publications, as well as a place for discussing new developments concerning both traditional philosophical questions and, more specifically, the impact of open science and digitization on academic work and human culture.
Core insights: For a community of ivory towers and agoras.
Euporia aims to support the rise and growth of a community of scholars, students or just people interested in philosophy who share few basic insights: they recognize the usefulness of the dissemination in Open Access and they regard philosophical thinking as a common good, as an activity that can contribute significantly to understanding how the digitization process affects all forms of cultural production. Above all, the coming community of Euporia will share the value of the love for wisdom, beyond both sterile elitisms and superficial forms of newism. Of the former, Euporia rejects the traditional economy of prestige, which links the quality of publications and philosophical discussions to the place where they appear and not to their content and to the seriousness with which it has been reviewed by peers or competent individuals. Concerning the second, Euporia wants to shun the naive enthusiasm for everything that is simply (and, perhaps, only apparently) new and fashionable. Such superficial newism forgets that the philosophical thought and the forms of its production and dissemination have a tradition and that in this tradition, more than in the arbitrariness and whimsy of individuals or in the economic interests of the different gatekeepers, that the raison d’être of what the are lies.
The building of this portal is a modest proposal to overcome the opposition between the scientific community and the non-specialist public by fostering a continuous exchange between these two dimensions without negating their specificity. Euporia grounds itself on the vision that the ivory towers are necessary for an open science too, because in the mediatic uproar in which we are immersed it needs places where capable people are (or should be) able to retire to think in peace. However, what is laboriously discovered and lovingly maintained in the ivory towers must be periodically redistributed to the community that contributes to the construction and maintenance of these institutions: we believe that new digital tools, innovative forms of open access dissemination and agile communication formats such as scientific blogging represent excellent opportunities both to promote this redistribution of knowledge and to give feedback to scholars who otherwise risk reducing their knowledge production a purely solipsistic exercise.
Why and how to contribute to Euporia
There are many ways of contributing to the activities of Euporia and becoming part of its community. First of all, there is this scientific blog which is open to any contribution related to traditional philosophical questions, with a particular interest in the transformation of the philosophical research in digital times and its peculiar ethical problems. The blog will therefore particularly welcome contributions that critically examine the opportunities opened up for philosophical work by new research methods of the digital humanities and by Open Access distribution. And these are just a few examples.
Euporia aims to be a multilingual platform, keeping in mind that language is not a neutral tool for articulating prelinguistic ideas, but the very substance of thought itself. The different national idioms, with their own conceptual networks and the metaphors we live by, represent the natural environment in which philosophical ideas, like organisms, live, grow and generate new ones. As such, ideas cannot always be easily and fully translated and adapted to a different linguistic milieu. We therefore welcome contributions in different languages, both to the blog and to our bibliographical collections, hoping that one of the services offered by the Euporia community to its members will be supporting the realization of working translations of blog posts, open access papers or other kinds of contributions. This would be an excellent way to enhance the dialog between different cultural traditions and thinking styles.
Another way to participate in the Euporia community is to report the publication of philosophical contributions for our bibliographic collections: Text & Digital Editions, OA Scholarly Works and Open Science & Digital Culture. Euporia will stimulate the use and the discussion around these publications, both through its blog and a section for book reviews currently in preparation.
The section Text & Digital Editions aims to be as exhaustive as possible, presenting both original texts and translations of good editorial quality. Also for the expansion of this section, the reports from members of the Euporia community is essential.
In OA Scholarly Works contributions will be aggregated all the metadata of philosophical publications harvested by popular Open Access platforms like the Directory of Open Access Books (DOAB), OAPEN Library and the Directory of Open Access Journals (DOAJ) and made them quickly discoverable and usable for philosophers. In addition, the thematic collections in the section Open Science & Digital Culture present bibliographic references of non-OA resources too Everyone can contribute to add new publications to these bibliographies created through groups on Zotero:
- Euporia Philosophy of Commons
- Euporia Philosophy of digital culture
- Euporia Philosophy of Open Science
- Euporia Research Ethics
Registering to these groups is very easy but if you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us. In this way, by rendering a useful service to the community, scholars and students can also highlight their own works or those by other authors.
Finally, the Euporia community will benefit enormously from the contributions of people able to develop technical solutions for facilitating the query and presentation of the resources and references collected on the platform or for developing new tools for academic philosophical work. We welcome all reports on existing Digital Humanities tools that can be fruitfully used for specific philosophical investigations (s. the section Digital tools).
In general, If you have any good ideas and proposals that could improve the utility of the platform please do not hesitate to contact us! In this still very experimental phase, any feedback on what is intended here is extremely welcome!
Help to make of Euporia an open environment for open philosophy by reporting digital editions of philosophical works, sharing papers, collecting useful tools for research and study in philosophy and participating in the discussion on this blog!
Many thanks to Marianna Mühlhölzer and Erzsébet Toth-Czifra for their useful comments on this post.