“Black CNN” : Cultural Transmission of Moral Norms through Narrative Art



Year of publication 2022
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source Journal of Cognition and Culture
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web https://brill.com/view/journals/jocc/22/3-4/article-p264_5.xml?ebody=abstract%2Fexcerpt
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/15685373-12340130
Keywords morality; narrative art; cultural evolution; social learning; transmission biases; rap music
Description In recent debates in moral psychology and literary Darwinism, several authors suggested that narrative art plays a significant role in the process of the social learning of moral norms, functioning as storage of locally salient moral information. However, an integrative view, which would help explain the inner workings of this morally educative function of narrative art, is still lacking. This paper provides such a unifying theoretical account by bringing together insights from moral psychology (concerning the non-reflective nature of moral cognition), educational sciences (concerning different types of settings and methods of moral learning), cognitive/evolutionary narratology (concerning how easy narrative art lends itself to the transmission of moral information), and cultural evolution (concerning different types of learning strategies/biases in relation to narrative art). A study of contemporary American rap music is included to showcase the benefits of this integrative approach in the context of one particular type of narrative art.
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