Reviews for Russell's History of Western Philosophy are all over the map. I get that he's an early positivist, and since his book is written from this particular perspective it will turn away people who are really into Hegel, Kierkegaard, etc. But one would not expect a book about philosophy written by a guy like Russell to include much on Hegel, right? Likewise, one wouldn't expect to find much Russell in a survey of philosophy written by Foucault, right? So I guess I'm asking this: if one generally likes Russell, will this individual benefit from reading his History of Western Philosophy, or is it too full of poor generalizations such that it obfuscates history more than sheds light upon it? Did that question make sense? I hope so.

Russell's History of Western Philosophy, while consistently entertaining, and worth reading on that score, is not a reliable source for knowledge about the philosophers it treats. The work may be not altogether unfairly described as one of the several 'shilling shockers' that Russell, who always needed money, wrote: sales of the History of Western Philosophy guaranteed Russell's financial security for the rest of his life.

I myself don't know of a good single-volume history of Western philosophy. Anthony Kenny has written multiple volumes on the history of Western philosophy; there is also a very fine series, published by Oxford University Press, with volumes covering various periods in the history of Western philosophy, including Terence Irwin on Classical Thought, John Cottingham on the Rationalists, and Roger Woolhouse on the Empiricists, but I can't vouch for the quality of the other volumes. Perhaps other respondents know of a good single-volume treatment of the history of Western philosophy; although I may be mistaken, I am incline to think that such works have fallen victim to the rise of specialization.

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