In recent years there have been many investigations of personality structure, and much of this research has been based on the lexical strategy for finding the major personality dimensions. However, this approach has frequently been criticized on several grounds, including concerns regarding the use of adjectives as personality variables, the use of lay observers of personality, the limited explanatory power of lexically derived personality dimensions, and the lack of any similar strategies used in other sciences. In this paper, these criticisms are addressed in detail and judged to be invalid. It is argued that the study of personality structure via the lexical approach is an important area of research. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.