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Bohr-Einstein debate: why did Bohr not simply say...

by nonequilibrium
Tags: bohr, bohreinstein, debate, simply
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MusaKusa
#37
Nov6-12, 12:43 PM
P: 1
Hello, I'm just replying to ask whether you've found out the answer for your question. I think even if Bohr had said "but you're using classical reasoning", it would not help his side of the argument very much. I'm not sure if you'll get this analogy but saying "but you're using classical reasoning" is like a laywer saying "but you're a thief" to a thief in a court. The lawyer and the thief both know that the thief if a thief but how will that help the lawyer prove that the lawyer is correct to the jury. In a similar sense, Bohr and Einstein both knew Einstein was using classical reasoning but how will that help Bohr prove that he is correct. I hope you get where I'm coming from but I'm not even in a University yet so I've probably said something wrong. If you have found a more reliable answer to your question as I am genuinely interested in finding out the answer.
jambaugh
#38
Nov15-12, 09:01 AM
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Quote Quote by MusaKusa View Post
Hello, I'm just replying to ask whether you've found out the answer for your question. I think even if Bohr had said "but you're using classical reasoning", it would not help his side of the argument very much. I'm not sure if you'll get this analogy but saying "but you're using classical reasoning" is like a laywer saying "but you're a thief" to a thief in a court. The lawyer and the thief both know that the thief if a thief but how will that help the lawyer prove that the lawyer is correct to the jury. In a similar sense, Bohr and Einstein both knew Einstein was using classical reasoning but how will that help Bohr prove that he is correct. I hope you get where I'm coming from but I'm not even in a University yet so I've probably said something wrong. If you have found a more reliable answer to your question as I am genuinely interested in finding out the answer.
If I argue that A implies B. And you are arguing Not B then you need to point out that Not A is possible (since A implies B = B or Not A.)

"You're thinking classically" is saying that one is using implicit assumptions (A's) which should not be accepted a priori when "thinking quantum mechanically". Classical thinking is very difficult to unlearn as it is what we use in everyday experience (to good effect). It is analgous to the problem of thinking in terms of absolute time vs thinking (special) relativistically. It is counterintuitive until you systematically retrain your intuition. We have the advantage of being able to review Bohr's and Einstein's written thoughts while they had to struggle to understand a new paradigm.

[Edit, an additional comment.]
In your lawyer analogue, it is more like the prosecutor saying "your a convicted thief so your testimony is questionable" while the defense is pointing to evidence that the witness was in fact wrongly convicted and thus not a thief and so we should listen to what he has to say.


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