Charles Taylor shows a strong connection between a sense of identity and the notion of what is ‘good’. His contribution to the genesis of values lies in this connection. Taylor describes how morality separated from moral sources as procedural reason and an interpretive view of nature gained influence over substantive reason and moral sources. Our view of what is valuable is described by a set of moral beliefs and philosophies, but Taylor shows the concealment of moral sources that such views inevitably experience. He sees possibilities for stabilizing modern moral commitments not only in traditional theistic sources but also in those modern sources of constituted goods.
Joas goes on to identify the links provided by Taylor: “Interpretation and experience are neither independent of nor reducible to each other.” (Joash, 163). In other words, Taylor debunks approaches to defining the self without reference to the moral goods that guide one’s sense of place and purpose in the world. This revolves around the way we see ourselves as people who have a sense of what is important to us, what matters most to us, and what is valuable.
Joash, H. (2000). The genesis of values. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago.