Necessarily, salt dissolves in water

Analysis 61 (4):267–274 (2001)
Abstract
In this paper I aim to show that a certain law of nature, namely that common salt (sodium chloride) dissolves in water, is metaphysically necessary. The importance of this result is that it conflicts with a widely shared intuition that the laws of nature (most if not all) are contingent. There have been debates over whether some laws, such as Newton’s second law, might be definitional of their key terms and hence necessary. But the law that salt dissolves in water is not that kind of law. The law statement ‘salt dissolves in water’ is clearly synthetic. It appears a classic case of a contingent law. We like to believe that there are possible worlds in which the laws of nature are different and in which salt does not dissolve in water.
Keywords laws necessity
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Citations of this work BETA
Jessica M. Wilson (2010). What is Hume's Dictum, and Why Believe It? Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 80 (3):595 - 637.
Muhammad Ali Khalidi (2009). How Scientific is Scientific Essentialism? Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (1):85 - 101.

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