Veneer theory  

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"Scratch an 'altruist', and watch a 'hypocrite' bleed" --Michael Ghiselin, on human nature.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

Veneer theory is a term coined by Dutch primatologist Frans de Waal to label a view of human morality that he criticizes in his book "Primates and Philosophers: How Morality Evolved". He uses the term to denote a concept that he rejects, namely that human morality is "a cultural overlay, a thin veneer hiding an otherwise selfish and brutish nature".

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Veneer theory" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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