If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around to hear it, does it still exist?

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pagan
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 07:43 am
@kennethamy,
? why shouldn't a mind tree grow like a supposed outside mind tree, if outside mind trees dont exist? If existence outside the mind (conscious and/or unconscious) is an illusion, then the question as to how the world could possible function if made of mind, is itself a leftover from the illusion.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 08:16 am
@pagan,
pagan;76975 wrote:
? why shouldn't a mind tree grow like a supposed outside mind tree, if outside mind trees dont exist? If existence outside the mind (conscious and/or unconscious) is an illusion, then the question as to how the world could possible function if made of mind, is itself a leftover from the illusion.


What is a "mind tree"? Can you find one in the Botanical Gardens?
 
pagan
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 08:32 am
@kennethamy,
well that depends if the botanical gardens are in the mind! Smile

look i am only trying to understand how you mean the question, and explore the possibilities. I am not positing mind trees over physical 'outside the brain' trees. I was indulging in philosophical speculation and consistency of logic within various semantic interpretations of the original question.......... which is ambiguous with regard to the meaning of existence. One meaning implied in the set up of "if", the other explicitly written after "does it".

no worries.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 08:38 am
@pagan,
pagan;76989 wrote:
well that depends if the botanical gardens are in the mind! Smile

look i am only trying to understand how you mean the question, and explore the possibilities. I am not positing mind trees over physical 'outside the brain' trees. I was indulging in philosophical speculation and consistency of logic within various semantic interpretations of the original question.......... which is ambiguous with regard to the meaning of existence. One meaning implied in the set up of "if", the other explicitly written after "does it".

no worries.


Trouble is, I don't know even what a posited mind tree would be. I guess you mean the idea of a tree. But the idea of a tree is not a tree.
 
pagan
 
Reply Mon 13 Jul, 2009 09:44 am
@kennethamy,
Quote:
Trouble is, I don't know even what a posited mind tree would be. I guess you mean the idea of a tree. But the idea of a tree is not a tree.
Well that depends upon the context of the question.

If we are positing a universe that is entirely made of mind, then everything is mind ........ from trees to science to ideas, everything. The world of no head.

If we are positing a universe where mind is confined to perception, and there exists a physical world outside the brain, then yeh i guess you could call a mind tree an idea. The world where we all have heads. And for sure, an idea is not the thing in itself.

The question of what we mean as to a tree existing (falling or otherwise) needs clarity with regard to mind/outside mind distinction. An idea tree exists and an outside brain tree exists concievably differently in a world where we have heads.

For the world of no head....... A mind tree can possibly exist but is presumably indistinquishable in the sense of existence to anything else since in such a posited world all is mind. (Though the idea of an unconscious mind tree as compared to a conscious mind tree could possibly be different with respect to the meaning of the word 'existence' depending upon the world mind scheme we are considering. eg b) and c) above.)

But of course if you cannot concieve philosophically of a world entirely made of mind then thats fine. Whats wrong with that?

I would point out the following however. Suppose - We do not see the tree we see the light from the tree. No we do not see the light from the tree we see the neural activity that results from the light from the tree. No we do not see the neural activity that results from the light from the tree we see something else that is the effect of neural activity .... namely consciousness. Thus we do not see the tree or the light from the tree. We know this from dreams where the neural activity exists but the light and the trees do not.

BUT this implies that all that you see comes from INSIDE the brain. Thus an entire landscape is inside the brain. Presumably therefore there is by logical extension of this model of universe and perception ....... a massive skull encasing our perceptions! Not a nice thought. But of course the concept of 'outside' is itself inspired by the act of consciously seeing something other than light and trees. namely inner consciousness.Thus to project the existence of a skull encasing our three dimensional landscapes of vision. is itself a biased projection of meaning derived entirely from within the mind. ie perception itself. Perception of landscape provides the logical metaphor of the encasing skull by giving us the concepts of spatial outside and inside through vision.......

But wait a minute.
The very same neural evoked landscape must by the very same arguement be equally biased in projecting the whole original train of logic from tree to light to neural activity to consciousness inside the head in the first place! Thus it is a circular arguement. "We know we have a head because our entirely internally concieved perceptions tell us we see an outside world" This is a very dodgy philosophical arguement.

The dodgyness of the arguement does not disprove we have heads ...... but it is dodgy, and doesnt prove it either.
 
Brandon Boyd
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 10:17 am
@dharma bum,
dharma_bum;76809 wrote:
I find the traditional question quite interesting, just because there are so many ways to think about it. I tend to think of most things in the most abstract way possible, so I ask now, if we can't see, hear, or otherwise perceive something in the present moment, can we ever be truly certain that it's still there?

Right now, my computer, my window, and my backyard are all in my field of vision. How can I possibly know that my bathroom, kitchen, and front yard are still where I remember them to be?

I know this is a completely pointless question, but it's fun to think about nonetheless Smile




It may still exist, but there might not be SOUND. I tend to think of it in this aspect.. Since there is nobody around for the vibrations to be interpreted into sound, there IS no sound. Therefore, it doesn't really make a sound.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 01:55 pm
@Brandon Boyd,
Brandon_Boyd;77949 wrote:
It may still exist, but there might not be SOUND. I tend to think of it in this aspect.. Since there is nobody around for the vibrations to be interpreted into sound, there IS no sound. Therefore, it doesn't really make a sound.


Why does someone have to hear the sound for there to be a sound? Does someone have to see the tree for there to be a tree?
 
Brandon Boyd
 
Reply Fri 17 Jul, 2009 03:39 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;78008 wrote:
Why does someone have to hear the sound for there to be a sound? Does someone have to see the tree for there to be a tree?




No, I didn't say that.


TECHNICALLY, there is NO sound, because sound is just the vibrations translated into a message by our brain.

I'm just being a smart ass. =P
 
prothero
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 12:10 am
@dharma bum,
Does what still exist?
The tree?
The forest? or
The sound?
It depends on how you define sound.
If a sound is vibrating molecules of air, yes.
If a sound is a perception occuring in a mind, no.
Is an auditory hallucination a sound?
 
richrf
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:31 am
@prothero,
I have a different take.

If a person is sleeping, and doesn't hear himself/herself snoring, does the snoring exist?

Interesting, isn't it?

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Wed 29 Jul, 2009 09:52 am
@richrf,
richrf;80182 wrote:
I have a different take.

If a person is sleeping, and doesn't hear himself/herself snoring, does the snoring exist?

Interesting, isn't it?

Rich


Not particularly. Why would you think it is? The answer is obvious, since you begin by supposing there is snoring. So you have already given the answer, which is, of course it exists. In effect, you are asking, if there is snoring, then is there snoring? And that answer is, yes. If there is snoring, there is snoring?
What strange questions some people ask!
 
Neil D
 
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 10:14 am
@kennethamy,
Isnt this supposed to be "If a tree falls in the forest, and nobody is around to hear it. Does it still make a sound?"

By stating that the tree falls, you are claiming its existence, because if it didnt exist in the first place how could it fall?

So does the forest exist without observation. Of course it does, and it is also packed with observers aside from humans.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 10:24 am
@kennethamy,
I think it is amazing that a person cannot hear himself/herself snoring while asleep. Like, your mind is right there. Smile I wonder if that is how a tree feels when it is falling?

Now, suppose the tree falls, and a person is right next to it, the sound waves enter the ear, all the neurons go off and everything, did the person hear it? Did the tree fall? Did it make a sound? The person is right next to the darn thing - probably drunk. :perplexed:


Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 10:58 am
@richrf,
richrf;80356 wrote:
I think it is amazing that a person cannot hear himself/herself snoring while asleep. Like, your mind is right there. Smile I wonder if that is how a tree feels when it is falling?

Now, suppose the tree falls, and a person is right next to it, the sound waves enter the ear, all the neurons go off and everything, did the person hear it? Did the tree fall? Did it make a sound? The person is right next to the darn thing - probably drunk. :perplexed:


Rich


Sometimes, people wake themselves up, because their snoring is so loud.
 
richrf
 
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 11:06 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;80370 wrote:
Sometimes, people wake themselves up, because their snoring is so loud.


And sometimes they don't. Isn't that something? :detective:

Rich
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Thu 30 Jul, 2009 11:15 am
@richrf,
richrf;80372 wrote:
And sometimes they don't. Isn't that something? :detective:

Rich


I guess it depends on how heavily asleep the person is, and how loud the snoring is.
 
Serena phil
 
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 05:14 am
@dharma bum,
First of all, if you at least agree or believe that some things can or do exist, then it potentially exists. But absolute truth of existence may be unattainable, at least live with the satisfaction of potential existence.

To be without knowledge could be without existence. Being deaf, dumb and blind does not necessarily make something non-existent in nature, but ignorance often evokes non-existence. A tree that falls that is unheard of or unseen still falls. But it still ceases to exist in the minds of those who were not there to see, hear or acquire knowledge of its fall.
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 05:35 am
@richrf,
richrf;80372 wrote:
And sometimes they don't. Isn't that something? :detective:

Rich
To sleep.perchance to snore...ive been told i make strange whistling sounds,like the wind blowing through trees.I dont hear them, so maybe the tree like me dont give a dam.
 
kennethamy
 
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 06:12 am
@xris,
xris;80675 wrote:
To sleep.perchance to snore...ive been told i make strange whistling sounds,like the wind blowing through trees.I dont hear them, so maybe the tree like me dont give a dam.


Why would the tree care about your snoring, anyway. Even if the tree were in the bedroom with you. Is it?
 
xris
 
Reply Sat 1 Aug, 2009 06:22 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;80681 wrote:
Why would the tree care about your snoring, anyway. Even if the tree were in the bedroom with you. Is it?
I intended to say the tree does not care if no one hears it fall.I dont usualy sleep with a tree, a twig maybe but not a whole tree.
 
 

 
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