The aim of this chapter is to identify a kind of practical reasoning that is neither action centered nor theoretical. In the Rhetoric, Aristotle calls it krinein (judging). For reasons that will progressively become clear, the judge (kritês) is a spectator (theôrôs), and his/her practical judgments are non-motivational. Their particularity is analyzed in Nicomachean Ethics VI 10, where we encounter the intellectual virtue of sunesis (comprehension) that is not prescriptive and action guiding but merely capable of correct judgment.

I start by explaining what exactly, according to the analysis of comprehension in the Nicomachean Ethics, a spectator’s intellectual capacity consists of and how it differs from the action-guiding function of practical wisdom (1.2). Then I draw on the Rhetoric to shed light on Aristotle’s guiding paradigm of such a judge/spectator and on feelings as what influences our non-motivational judgments, not our motives for action (1.3). I return to the Nicomachean Ethics to argue that the self-controlled person is indeed a fully virtuous judge of practical matters, though not a fully virtuous agent (1.4). And I close by showing that Aristotle’s responses contribute to a philosophically appealing theory of practical judgment which allows us to reshape the externalism-internalism debate (1.5).