The goals of Open Court were to provide a forum for the discussion of philosophy, science, and religion, and to make philosophical classics widely available by making them affordable. Hegeler was truly interested in an honest exchange of ideas and would print books and articles that he didn’t necessarily agree with. Shortly after Open Court’s inception, Hegeler hired the German scholar Dr. Paul Carus as managing editor of the publishing company. Carus shared Hegeler’s interest in the relationship between science and religion. During his lifetime, Carus also wrote 75 books and nearly 1,500 articles on philosophy, religion, history, literature, politics, poetry, and mathematics.
As well as publishing works by the world’s great thinkers, Open Court introduced two periodicals, The Open Court and The Monist, featuring essays from scholars around the globe. Thousands of philosophers, scientists, and authors including John Dewey, Clarence Darrow, Alexander Graham Bell, Upton Sinclair, and Ezra Pound corresponded regularly with Dr. Carus.
Open Court Publishing was housed on the ground floor of the Mansion for over 80 years. The publishing company continues its original mission today by printing important works in the fields of philosophy, psychology, history, education, and popular culture.