What We Are Reading Today: Empires of the Sky

What We Are Reading Today: Empires of the Sky
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Updated 30 May 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Empires of the Sky

What We Are Reading Today: Empires of the Sky

Author: Alexander Rose

Alexander Rose’s new book, Empires of the Sky,  is a well written work on the history of commercial aviation.
Rose chronicles the early 20th century rivalry between airships and airplanes for the future of commercial air travel in this exhaustive account.
“Though it seems obvious now that we would get on a jet to cross the Atlantic, that wasn’t the situation in the early periods of aviation. When Lindberg crossed the Atlantic in 1927, it was one man in an airplane that had been stripped down to the lowest weight possible. By comparison, Zepplins, a rigid frame airship, had been capable of carrying over 50 crew members since about 1912,” said a review in goodreads.com.
The book looks at the origins of the Zepplin — first envisioned by a German, Ferdinand von Zepplin.
The company was later helmed by Hugo Eckener. It also looks at technical innovation, political and social topics.
Historian Rose delivers a multi-dimensional story of bold entrepreneurial and engineer exploits, as well as the political machinations and the military value of dirigibles and aeroplanes.


What We Are Reading Today: Emotion and Virtue by Gopal Sreenivasan

Updated 01 December 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Emotion and Virtue by Gopal Sreenivasan

What We Are Reading Today: Emotion and Virtue by Gopal Sreenivasan

What must a person be like to possess a virtue in full measure? What sort of psychological constitution does one need to be an exemplar of compassion, say, or of courage? Focusing on these two examples, Emotion and Virtue ingeniously argues that certain emotion traits play an indispensable role in virtue. With exemplars of compassion, for instance, this role is played by a modified sympathy trait, which is central to enabling these exemplars to be reliably correct judges of the compassionate thing to do in various practical situations. Indeed, according to Gopal Sreenivasan, the virtue of compassion is, in a sense, a modified sympathy trait, just as courage is a modified fear trait.

While he upholds the traditional definition of virtue as a species of character trait, Sreenivasan discards other traditional precepts. For example, he rejects the unity of the virtues and raises new questions about when virtue should be taught. Unlike orthodox virtue ethics, moreover, his account does not aspire to rival consequentialism and deontology. Instead Sreenivasan repudiates the ambitions of virtue imperialism.

Emotion and Virtue makes significant contributions to moral psychology and the theory of virtue alike.