It is characteristic of the experienced mediator that he often proceeds most effectively to his goal, especially during the early stages of his efforts, by circumlocution and indirection. Perhaps I may be forgiven, therefore, if my approach to the subject of mediation itself displays something of those qualities. I have, in any event, thought it expedient to preface my analysis by putting mediation in the wider context of some assumptions of methodology that appear to shape our efforts to comprehend social phenomena generally.