Special Claims from Improvement: A Comment on Armstrong

  • Clare Heyward UiT - The Arctic University of Norway
  • Dominic Lenzi Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change


Chris Armstrong argues that attempts at justifying special claims over natural resources generally take one of two forms: arguments from improvement and arguments from attachment. We argue that Armstrong fails to establish that the distinction between natural resources and improved resources has no normative significance. He succeeds only in showing that ‘improvers’ (whoever they may be) are not necessarily entitled to the full exchange value of the improvement. It can still be argued that the value of natural and improved resources should be distributed on different grounds, but that the value of improvements should be conceived differently.