servatismen i USA, published in 1971nin Sweden, and Democracy and thenEthical Life (1978). He is coeditor ofnIrving Babbitt in Our Time (1986) andnhas published significant articles innscholarly journals. His writing hasncentered on large philosophical andnliterary matters rather than on practicalnpolitics.nWill, Imagination and Reason is notnsimply a study of Irving Babbitt. Thenmotive underlying the book is to revisenand supplement Babbitt’s ideas in suchna way as to provide a basis for a newnapproach to the epistemology of thenhumanities and social sciences. Rynnbegan this study in collaboration withnFolke Leander. Both men were keenlyninterested in More and Babbitt andnbelieved that the appreciation of thesenwriters would be enhanced by systematicnphilosophical study. Leandernbegan the task with The Inner Checkn(1974), which brought certain aspectsnof Croce’s philosophy to bear on a keyntenet of More’s thought. The argument:nCroce lacks More’s ethical sensitivitynbut provides a philosophicalnrigor More lacks. Will, Imaginationnand Reason supplies the same Croceannsupplement to Babbitt’s thought. It isnRyn’s book, marked by ideas and suggestionsnprovided by Leander beforenhis death in 1981.nSeveral primary ideas shape Ryn’snthought. They are recurrent in hisnprevious writing and animate this booknon Babbitt. Most fundamental is thenidea that “life is subject to a universalnmoral order which is accessible tonphilosophy.” The moral order he hasnin mind is essentially that of the enduringnWestern traditions in ethics,nparticularly those of Christianity andnancient Greece. But Ryn advocates nonsimple return to ideas of the past: “Anreconsideration of older traditionsnmeans their rearticulation and developmentnin new intellectual circumstances.”nHe has in mind a dynamicntraditionalism in ethics based on “ancreative, discriminating absorption ofnthe moral insights of the past.” Henargues for “a value-centered historicism,”nan approach that acknowledgesnthe existence of a universal moralnorder while at the same time fullynrecognizing the historical nature ofnknowledge (historical in the sense ofncontinuously changing and developingnin time and circumstance). His essaynon “Knowledge and History” is thenfullest exposition of this notion ofnthought as continuous activity aimingnat truth but never static, “a dialecticalnstraining towards, never the achievementnof, perfect clarity.” According tonthis idea, a written work is, in a significantnsense, always unfinished: “Angiven treatise is a report on a continuingnprocess of inquiry and is out of dateneven before it is finished.” Ryn repeatsnthis argument in Will, Reason andnImagination partiy to explain and justifynhis rearticulating and complementingnBabbitt’s thought.nAnother of his primary ideas is thatnmodern conservatism has been innsome measure debilitated by a tendencynto fall back too quickly on intuition.nMen like Babbitt, More, and PeternViereck (Ryn has published a comprehensivenessay on Viereck) share a suspicionnof narrow rationalism, of theory,nideology, and systematic logic.nThey favor experience, commonnsense, will, and imagination. Ryn believesntheir emphasis on intuitionntends toward an unjustified abandonmentnof reason to their opponents. Henconcedes that the direction of our livesnis determined by will and imagination,nbut insists that a type of reason isninherent in the very operations of thesenfaculties. Therefore, his fundamentalnassumption is that “will, imaginationnand reason can be adequately understoodnonly in relation to each other.”nBeing inclined toward and trained inntechnical philosophy, Ryn believesnthat any successful intellectual effort tonrestore a sense of man’s transcendentalnmoral purpose must grapple with fundamentalnphilosophical problems, particularlynthose of epistemology. Moralnpurpose needs philosophy, and intuitionnneeds the complement of reason.nBut what kind of reason? Reasonncan be understood in various ways.nRyn agrees with Babbitt and likemindednpersons about the limitationsnand abuses of the reifying rationalismnof positivism, the abstract systemmakingnof metaphysical rationalism,nand the pragmatic rationality of naturalnscience and other experimental sciencesnsuch as psychology. These, besidesnbeing inadequate for explainingnthe rich complexity of human existence,ntend toward a dangerous exclusivity.nRyn posits another kind of reason,nwhich he calls “philosophicalnnnreason.” The term is scarcely adequatenbecause it is not distinctive enough,nbut it is probably better than a conspicuousnneologism. He intends the termnto refer to the perception of the dualitynof human nature that Babbitt andnMore constantiy emphasize. They callnit an “intuition,” but Ryn, taking hisncue from Croce and Leander, understandsnthat “the organon for observingnimmediate, intuitive experience is ankind of reason.” Philosophical reasonnoperates dialectically. Human existencenis, in Babbitt’s words, a “onenessnthat is always changing,” and philosophicalnreason is the perception of thensimultaneous existence of a universalnmoral order and the historically conditionednstate of human knowledge.nThe principal argument of Will,nImagination and Reason, therefore, isnthat Babbitt’s work is significantly valuablenfor understanding and dealingnwith the problem of reality, but itnneeds to be supplemented by elementsnof systematic philosophy provided bynCroce’s Logic as the Science of PurenConcept (1917). Babbitt provides thenwisdom and probing insights; Crocensupplies the system and clarity of technicalnphilosophy. The central thesisnpresented is that:nKnowledge of reality rests uponna certain orientation of the willnand upon the correspondingnquality of the imaginationn(intuition) that the will begets.nReason is dependent for thentruth and comprehensiveness ofnits concepts on the depth andnscope of the material it receivesnfrom the imagination. Babbitt’snimportant contribution is thendoctrine that only the highestnform of the imagination—nwhich he regards as sustainednand anchored in ultimatenreality by ethical will—pullsnman toward a comprehensivenand proportionate view of life.nAnyone who is sympathetically disposedntoward Babbitt will find thisnbook engaging and stimulating. Rynnreconsiders Babbitt’s ideas with admirablenphilosophic intelligence and sophistication.nHis concept of philosophicalnreason may take a naturalnplace alongside Babbitt’s familiar conceptsnof dualism, inner check, law ofnmeasure, and ethical imagination.nDECEMBER 13871 45n