This volume initiates a series of American University Publications in Phi· losophy. It is expected that, as occasion permits, volumes will be added to the series, contributing to the dialogue that is contemporary philosophy. The essays in this volume were written by the faculty in philosophy at The American University during the academic year 1970·71 and appear here for the first time. In a variety of modes the essays cluster around epistemological problems collateral with theories of explanation. In view of recent attention to such theories, this volume explores several new directions in the explanation of behavior, language, and religion. We are especially appreciative of the secretarial assistance of Mrs. Madaline Shoemaker, whose magic turned many an unreadable manuscript into an intelligible essay. We are also grateful to Miss Maria Wilhelm for the final typing of the volume, and to the Office of the Dean for Graduate Studies, The American University, for encouragement and for a financial grant toward typing expenses. Barry L. Blose Harold A. Durfee David F. T. Rodier Editorial Committee T ABLE OF CONTENTS Preface v CONTEMPORARY DIRECTIONS THE SPIRIT OF CoNTEMPORARY AMERICAN PHILosoPHY, Roger T.