Arguments from Need in Natural Resource Debates
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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With regard to any natural resource, we can ask whether we should obtain (more of) it. We may further hold that the answer to this question depends, at least in part, on whether there is a need in our society for the resource in question. In this paper, a framework is developed for evaluating the moral significance of arguments from need in natural resource debates. The main components of the framework are: a harm-based conception of morally significant needs; a transmission principle holding between basic and derived needs; and a bulk of considerations regarding competing concerns.