Public and intellectual debates have long struggled with the concept of values and the difficulties of defining them. With "The Genesis of Values, renowned theorist Hans Joas explores the nature of these difficulties in relation to some of the leading figures of twentieth-century philosophy and social theory: Friedrich Nietzsche, William James, Max Scheler, John Dewey, Georg Simmel, Charles Taylor, and Jürgen Habermas. Joas traces how these thinkers came to terms with the idea of values, and then extends beyond them with his own comprehensive theory. Values, Joas suggests, arise in experiences in self-formation and self-transcendence. Only by appreciating the creative nature of human action can we understand how our values arise.