Moral economy and the political ontology of open access | Jana Bacevic and Chris Muellerleile - Academia.edu
peter.suber's bookmarks 2016-11-08
Abstract: Digital technologies have made access to and profit from scientific publications hotly contested issues. Despite disagreement on who and how should fund or have access to academic knowledge, there is a relatively stable “moral episteme” (Foucault, 1971) guiding the movement towards open access in the academia. We aim to clarify the ontological basis of the tension between its analytical and normative aspects. Focusing on what we call the four myths of open access --enclosure, the commons, free labour, and Enlightenment -- we show how the underlying political ontology of open access frames knowledge as the ultimate good. We argue that these myths both (re)produce the political subjectivity of the actors and institutions involved in academic knowledge production, and constitute a mechanism of justification that aims to position knowledge outside of the sphere of the market. Our analysis of these myths shows how open access functions as the moral economy of the digital.