Open Court Publishing Company
|Parent company||Carus Publishing Company|
|Country of origin||United States|
|Distribution||Publishers Group West|
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 as of 2010.
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 Series4 and The University Press of Kentucky's own Philosophy titles.5
- Homans, James E., ed. (1918). "Hegeler, Edward C.". The Cyclopædia of American Biography. New York: The Press Association Compilers, Inc.
- Fields 1992, pg. 138
- Jeffrey Felshman (May 31, 2001). "Power House". Chicago Reader.
- The Blackwell Philosophy and Pop Culture Series. Accessed January 29, 2008
- 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
- Official site
- Open Court Publishing Company Records, 1886-1953 at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Special Collections Research Center
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