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A popular view is that we create our own identities and values. An attractive version of this is the thesis that the creation of values follows from the creation of identities. The thesis is best supported by a conception of identity in terms of projects and a conception of values that are internal to projects. The line of thought is: I create my projects; in creating my projects, I create values internal to them; so I create those values. This paper argues that the thesis faces a dilemma: it is either true but uninteresting or interesting but false. The dilemma persists whether the values in question are conceived as purpose-relative, as moral, or as both purpose- relative and moral.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Department of PhilosophyKing’s College LondonStrandLondonWC2R 2LS, Email:

Publication date: 2006-09-01

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