Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

Action as Knowledge Contra Knowledge as Action:: An Analysis of Crito's Exhortation in Plato's Crito

Michael Rosano.

Crito's exhortation of Socrates to flee Athens to avoid his legal death sentence is pivotal to understanding the Crito. It displays Crito's character and reveals his central role in the dialogue and importance to problems of citizenship. It is thus the point of departure for understanding how and why Socrates persuades Crito that legal obedience is just, even as Socrates implicitly articulates the limits of citizenship. That articulation comes to a head in the problem of voluntary injustice and implies Socrates' paradox that injustice is not committed voluntarily. That paradox, in turn, reveals why Socratic virtue is knowledge and underscores the limits of Crito's common sense claim that actions speak louder than words.


Michael Rosano  (United States)
Associate Professor
Department of Social Sciences
University of Michigan-Dearborn

Michael Joseph Rosano is an Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Michigan-Dearborn. He specializes in the development of Western policical theory with special focus on classical political philosophy and American political thought.

  • Plato
  • Socratic political philosophy
  • Citizenship
  • Legal obligation
Person as Subject
  • Plato Socrates Crito

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)