“[A] provocative exploration of how rules can perform a moral function . . . . [A] useful model for creative and careful legal theory . . . [and an] excellent and clear discussion of major debates in jurisprudence. . . .” — Judith Lynn Failer , The Law and Politics Book Review
“[R]ewarding for those eager to engage with some of the core debates in legal theory. . . . [T]he book is at its best when describing the way rules seek to rescue us from a world in which there is moral plurality and the fact that they cannot provide moral certainty. This means, Alexander and Sherwin note, that it may be right to issue rules and yet be wrong to follow them. This is an intriguing and persuasive argument. . . . This is a valuable addition to the literature, a solid and, at times, sparkling example of rigorous thinking about important problems. Highly recommended . . . .” — A. D. Sarat, Choice
"[The Rule of Rules] is well written, the arguments are clear, good examples are used to illustrate or explain points, and the organization of topics is logical. . . . The book makes a valuable contribution to the ongoing and sometimes stale debate between positivism and natural law by presenting positivism as a means and natural law as an end. . . ."
— Timothy O. Lenz , Perspectives on Political Science
"Alexander and Sherwin in The Rule of Rules describe the rules-morality tension and the consequences for Law and the incidents of legal analysis and practice that flow from it. They reveal the fundamental incongruities in terms that are both accessible and sophisticated. They fix the place of their critique in the jurisprudential firmament and reveal the limits of others' logic. Conscientious readers will generally follow with nodding approval. To appreciate the contribution that Alexander and Sherwin have made to the literature, though, we will need to appreciate what their exposition and analysis tells us about the rules-morality relation. Understood as a matter of communication, that is a communication between morality and the rules that will be an elaboration of that morality, the impossibility of Law is ultimately a failure of communication or at least our failure to understand the incidents of that communication in terms that would inform our better understanding of what Law can be. So the next step is ours: Alexander and Sherwin have taken us to the precipice." — Peter A Alces , Michigan Law Review
“Accessible to the non-specialist, the arguments found in The Rule of Rules are clearly made and well-illustrated with concrete examples. The authors address a large number of topics and take up controversial positions on most. This will make an important contribution to ongoing jurisprudential debates.” — Mark Tushnet, Georgetown University Law Center
“This book not only substantially advances our understanding of the nature of rules themselves, but is by some margin the best treatment there is of the relationship between rules and law. In an era in which context, flexibility, and discretion are often uncritically celebrated, this book throws down the gauntlet for a rule-based understanding of law. No one who is interested in the nature of legal reasoning and legal decision-making can afford to ignore this book, and no one who is skeptical about the importance of rules to law can avoid the challenges that Alexander and Sherwin present.” — Frederick Schauer, Harvard University