Jan Horský

I am interested in morality, narrative art and cultural evolution…combined.

I am fascinated by three things: (i) the social nature of human condition (we are not equipped with sharp claws or big teeth, leaving us dependent on each other) and the conundrums it sets in motion, (ii) the human relentless propensity to produce and consume various types of narrative art, and (iii) the cumulative culture that (through the process of cultural transmission) has allowed humans to spread and prosper in every corner of the globe. Luckily, I have found a way to put all three together and now I am studying cultural transmission of moral and religious beliefs through narrative art.

With background in aesthetics (thesis “Art as a Product of Natural and Sexual Selection”) and moral philosophy (thesis “Wag the Dog: The Role of Moral Reasoning in Moral Judgment”), I am now utilizing theory of cultural evolution to further our understanding of how humans use storytelling as an information storage about local moral norms which coordinate their social living, but also how they use it as a tool to criticize and transgress them. For a case study, I am focusing on moral and religious storytelling contained in contemporary rap music.

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