Open Works, Open Cultures, and Open Learning Systems
The idea of openness as a political, social, and psychological metaphor has been part of a set of enduring narratives in the West since the time before the flourishing of modern democracy, scientific communication, and the rise of the knowledge economy. Principally these narratives have been about the nature of freedom, the primacy of rights to self-expression, the constitution of the public sphere or the commons, and the intimate link between openness and creativity. The core philosophical idea concerns openness to experience and interpretation such that a work, language, and system permit multiple meanings and interpretations with an accent on the response, imagination, and activity of the reader, learner, or user. The classic work that philosophically develops this central idea is the Philosophical Investigations by Ludwig Wittgenstein (1953) who draws a close relationship between language as a set of open overlapping speech activities or discourses he calls “language...
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