Bohr’s Relational Holism and the Classical-Quantum Interaction

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Dorato, Mauro
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In this paper I present and critically discuss the main strategies that Bohr used and could have used to fend off the charge that his interpretation does not provide a clear-cut distinction between the classical and the quantum domain. In particular, in the first part of the paper I reassess the main arguments used by Bohr to advocate the indispensability of a classical framework to refer to quantum phenomena. In this respect, by using a distinction coming from an apparently unrelated philosophical corner, we could say that Bohr is not a revisionist philosopher of physics but rather a descriptivist one in the sense of Strawson. I will then go on discussing the nature of the holistic link between classical measurement apparatuses and observed system that he also advocated. The oft-repeated conclusion that Bohr’s interpretation of the quantum formalism is untenable can only be established by giving his arguments as much force as possible, which is what I will try to do in the following by remaining as faithful as possible to his published work.