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In the theory and practice of self-formation, we certainly do not exclude taking part in the activities of formal instruction, but at the same time we do not privilege those activities relative to many others.

Self-formation, both positive and negative, takes place as persons take part in all sorts of different activities. All of these are important for our consideration. For instance, films — high and low — enter into the self-directional actions people take in complicated and powerful ways. In examining these processes, we do not aim to censor or channel choices. Rather we write for persons who want to make their choices with a fuller sense of their own intentionality, enabling them to project their voices about what to accept and reject and why. Izaak Walton's The Compleat Angler, or Martin Scorsese's documentaries on his experience of American and Italian films, might be taken to represent the spirit in which we should consider the many different activities through which people seek to give substance and felicity to their lives.

List of Activities