Множественность миров в истории науки
Thomas Kuhn has attempted to apply the possible worlds semantics to clarify the semantic incommensurability of past science and modern science and has concluded that the concept of possible worlds has only limited application to the history of science: in many cases no translation is possible between the language of past science and the language of modern science. We weaken this thesis in the spirit of W. Quine: there are indeterminately many translations of this kind. We show how this weakened thesis, on the one hand, is confirmed by historical and scientific practice, on the other hand, can be conceptualized within the framework of distinguishing between benign and malignant forms of presentism in the historiography of science (presentism is a stance to study the past from the point of view of the present). The synthesis of benign forms of presentism – critical presentism according to L. Loison or historical epistemology according to G. Canguilhem – allows us to understand science as both rational and contingent. We argue that presentism leads to the multiplication of possible worlds, conceivable from the point of view of science of the past, present and future, but this multiplicity takes on integrity within the framework of critical presentism (historical epistemology).