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karl popper


In 1945 Routledge and Kegan Paul published a book by an unknown author, Karl Popper. Originally entitled A Social Philosophy for Everyman, it had been turned down by a number of publishers when Herbert Read, then a director of Routledge, determined to take it on. It came out under the title The Open Society and Its Enemies, published in two volumes, and has been continuously in print ever since. The story of its vicissitudes is told by Sir Ernst Gombrich in the foreword to the new one volume edition of The Open Society and its Enemies. (Originally published in Popper’s Open Society After Fifty Years.)

The publication of The Open Society and Its Enemies and Popper’s almost simultaneous appointment to a Readership at the London School of Economics changed the course of Popper’s life.

The Logic of Scientific Discovery was published by Hutchinson in 1959, and they published also the three volumes of The Postscript to the Logic of Scientific Discovery in the 1980s. In 1989 the Hutchinson academic list was acquired by Unwin Hyman. When Routledge acquired the academic lists of Unwin Hyman in 1991, the works of Popper formed part of the sale. Routledge immediately took steps to secure all rights to his autobiography, Unended Quest, and some other works in progress. Before his death, Karl Popper designated Routledge his publisher of choice for all his books and any future volumes that might be edited from his Nachlass. We are pleased to have been able to publish several such volumes, including The World of Parmenides in 1998, and All Life is Problem Solving in 1999.

Karl Popper remains one of the most important authors in Routledge’s philosophy list. This year is the centenary of Popper’s birth, and we are re-issuing several of Popper’s works in the Routledge Classics and launching a one volume edition of The Open Society and Its Enemies to mark this occassion. There are also plans in Germany, Austria and elsewhere for the celebration of this event.


© 2002 Taylor & Francis Group plc

karl popper
karl popper