Practical Judgment

Practical judgment (phronesis) is the main topic of book 6 of the Nicomachean Ethics. This involves a broadly rational assessment of particulars that is subject to error. It is closely associated with deliberation and choice. Its outcome is neither knowledge nor opinion, but action or a specific kind or manner of action. Practical judgment concerns what should be done, with the expectation that it will be done.

Good practical judgment is astute in a calculating way as well as compassionate, forgiving, and considerate of others (Sachs translation, p.114). It achieves an Aristotelian mean that avoids one-sidedness. (See also Intellectual Virtue, Love.)