Our aim is to identify the conditions of possibility of a successful process of ethical deliberation. To achieve this goal, we turn to Aristotle's definition of 'deliberation' as a rational process that seeks to make decisions (as opposed to other types of rational processes that aim to find out or achieve a truth). We focus also on the need of incorporation of the other's perspective in what Rawls labels 'overlapping consensus'; on Lafont's three requirements of deliberation; and on Ricoeur's four steps to fully engage with one's commitments through action. In order to complement the picture of deliberation we get when reading these authors in conjunction, we add what in our eyes constitute two major conditions often neglected. We then point out the shortcomings of two manifestations of the current interest in the successful processes of deliberation. Firstly, we address ethics committees. Given that their primary concern is precisely ethics, they should be -and often are- The organizations which more enthusiastically embrace and promote ethical processes of deliberation. Yet they tend to fail in some respects, which we point out. Secondly, we confront the contradictions surrounding the recent proliferation of codes of ethics and suggest how their value could be maximized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)207-223
Number of pages17
JournalRamon Llull Journal of Applied Ethics
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Aristotle
  • Deliberation
  • Ethics
  • Ethics committees
  • Lafont
  • Organizations


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