Frederick Copleston's original nine-volume A History of Philosophy began as an attempt to provide Catholic seminary students, whom Copleston believed were being woefully undersold in philosophy, a comprehensive but accessible guide to the ideas and individuals that have shaped philosophy. His work went on to be regarded by many a single best history of philosophy ever written in English.
Coplsteon's work sought provides a detailed, and by consensus fair, treatment of the major philosophers and their ideas from the Pre-Socratics all the way up to Levi-Strauss. He skillfully avoids simplistic caricatures and his narrative sparkles with incident and intellectual excitement giving each philosopher a full hearing with erudition, attention to style, while illuminating each figure has to those who came before and to those who came after.
Nevertheless Copleston, who is well known for his public debates and resounding defenses for the existence of God, never hides his own perspectives--but he also does not use it to truncate or distort others' views. Thus, Copleston's work is remarkably well-rounded, complete, and scholarly. Though originally intended for students, Copleston's work is a staple work for any library; especially those who wish to learn about and engage philosophical questions in an informed manner.
About Volume VI In A History of Philosophy, Volume VI: Modern Philosophy--From the French Enlightenemnt to Kant explores the beginnings of the Enlightenment in France with particular emphasis on Rousseau. He then transition to Germany outlines the basic dynamics of the era including the always relevant political situation covering Hammann, Herder, and Jacobi before returning to France and Voltaire. In this coverage, Copleston also covers the rise of teh philosophy o fhistory, and then spnds 200 glorious pages on the Enlightenment philosopher, Immanuel Kant. Slightly Imperfect.