The Barcan formula (BF) is commonly paraphrased as the schematic conditional that if it is possible that there be a phi then something or other is possibly a phi. It is validated by the most straightforward systems of quantified modal logic. It is also widely considered to pose a threat to the commonsensical metaphysical view that there are no non-actual (or 'merely possible') things. I show how BF can be cleared of such a charge by construing it as a bridge principle connecting modality de dicto and modality de re while retaining a Russellian robust sense of reality in modal matters.
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Barcan formula, modality, de dicto and de re
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