Open Court Publishing Company

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Open Court Publishing Company
Parent company Carus Publishing Company
Founded 1887
Founder Edward Hegeler
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Chicago
Distribution Publishers Group West
Publication types Books
Nonfiction topics philosophy
Official website

The Open Court Publishing Company is a publisher with offices in Chicago and La Salle, Illinois. It is part of the Carus Publishing Company of Peru, Illinois.


Open Court was founded in 1887 by Edward C. Hegeler of the Matthiessen-Hegeler Zinc Company, at one time the largest producer of zinc in the United States. Hegeler intended for the firm to serve the purpose of discussing religious and psychological problems on the principle that the scientific world-conception should be applied to religion.[1] Its first managing editor was Paul Carus, Hegeler's son-in-law.[2] For the first 80 years of its existence, the company had its offices in the Hegeler Carus Mansion.[3]

Open Court specializes in philosophy, science, and religion, and was one of the first academic presses in the country. It was one of the first publishers of inexpensive editions of the classics.[2] It also published the journals Open Court and The Monist— the latter is still being published. The Open Court Monthly Magazine's motto was 'Devoted to the Science of Religion, the Religion of Science, and the Extension of the Religious Parliament Idea.'[4]

Popular culture & philosophy series

One of Open Court Publishing's best-selling series is its semi-annual Popular Culture & Philosophy series, under the editorship of George Reisch. Volumes on the philosophy underpinning such television shows as Seinfeld, The Simpsons and Buffy the Vampire Slayer propelled the series into the limelight, and have invited many imitators since, including The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series[5] and the University Press of Kentucky's own philosophy titles.[6]

See also


  1. Wikisource-logo.svg Homans, James E., ed. (1918). [ "Hegeler, Edward C." ] Check |ws link in chapter= value (help). The Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: The Press Association Compilers, Inc.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. 2.0 2.1 Fields 1992, pg. 138
  3. Jeffrey Felshman (May 31, 2001). "Power House". Chicago Reader.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. The Open Court Magazine September, 1915 front cover motto.
  5. The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. Accessed January 29, 2008
  6. The University Press of Kentucky Philosophy books. Accessed January 29, 2008


  • Fields, Rick. How the Swans Came to the Lake: A Narrative History of Buddhism in America (1992) Shambhala Publications. ISBN 0-87773-631-6

External links