There's a massive history of philosophy, running to probably 4500 pages, by Frederick Copleston, S.J., a Thomist Jesuit. I've had it on my shelf staring at me for the longest time. And for some reason I picked it up the other day and now I'm 110 pages in. I'm through the pre-Socratics. I'm into Socrates!
The first history of philosophy I ever read was the one by Bertrand Russell. It was kind of an eye-opener for me. I was in high school, so I didn't know anything. Russell was a very chatty guide, very opinionated. Copleston is a more sober guide, careful about giving his opinions, although he definitely gives them.
Copleston seems to be the most encyclopedic of the popular histories of philosophy. I have the sense that he is sometimes approached more as an encyclopedia than as a book to read through. Well, we will see if I can keep it up to the end.
Why am I reading this book? Why now?
I don't know.
But here I go.