Tuesday seminar with Kim Angell
What is a just global distribution of natural resources? According to a prominent class of views, we have reason to distribute resource rights in accordance with people’s patterns of ‘attachment’ to resources. People may become attached to particular resources by incorporating them into their life plans or by building an identity around their existence. On a just distribution, people’s attachment-based resource acquisitions are recognized whenever they observe a proviso to leave ‘enough and as good’ resources for others. Because attachment-theories specify that proviso differently, they may end up mandating very different resource distributions. What unites them, however, is the account they give of original acquisition (through attachment). Despite their prominence in the current debate, existing attachment-theories stand in need of repair. In the main part of this paper, I argue that their attachment-based account of resource acquisition is unsatisfactory. I demonstrate that theoretical consistency demands a significant expansion of the scope of valid attachment-based acquisitions. The paper ends by spelling out a notable upshot of my thesis for acquisition of unowned resources in remote locations like the Arctic.