If A Tree Fell And Nobody Was There To Hear It Does It Make A Sound?

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Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:10 pm
If a tree falls and there is nobody to hear it does it make a sound?

Some people say that it doesn't because humans defined the vibrations made by "things" sound, and if the humans aren't there then there is nobody to define those vibrations as sound.

But then there are people (like me) who say that it does make a sound because it is logical to think so, due to proof we have that is very easy to understand:

1)If a tree fell right next to you would it make a sound?
Of course it would, so if you think about it logically, if a tree falls and there is nobody there to hear it it is most likely going to make a sound.
2)If us humans defined those vibrations as "sound", than those vibrations are "sound" no mater if humans are there or not. It is just like saying: If there is a carton of milk and there are no people there to call it milk is it milk? Of course it is.

That is my opinion on the forever popular question.
 
Didymos Thomas
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:13 pm
@Zacrates,
What do we define as sound?
If by sound, you mean sound waves, then of course the tree falling produces these. If by sound you mean the sound waves as interpreted by some creature, then, if no such creature is close enough, the tree makes no sound.
 
Zacrates
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:31 pm
@Didymos Thomas,
No mater what aren't there still sound waves? The sound waves interpreted by some creature are the same sound waves as if there were no creature. If there was no creature to interpret the sound waves wouldn't they still be there?
 
astrotheological
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:35 pm
@Zacrates,
Zacrates wrote:
No mater what aren't there still sound waves? The sound waves interpreted by some creature are the same sound waves as if there were no creature.


Exactly so you could ask yourself if there were no humans there could still be a universe an existence right. The only thing is that when you are dead you can no longer interpret existence or reality. Does there need to be life though in order for there to be existence or reality. Of course not.
 
Zacrates
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 06:40 pm
@astrotheological,
First of all: WRONG THREAD!!!!!!
Second of all: I said the whole earth and everything from it is destroyed.
Third of all: I never said there does i said that we can not prove that it will never end when there is no one there to witness it never ending.
 
Deftil
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 07:00 pm
@Zacrates,
Zacrates;24735 wrote:
No mater what aren't there still sound waves? The sound waves interpreted by some creature are the same sound waves as if there were no creature. If there was no creature to interpret the sound waves wouldn't they still be there?


I believe Didymos is saying, yes those "sound waves" would still be there. So if those "sounds waves" are how you define "sounds", then the answer is yes, if a tree falls and nobody is there to hear it, it will still make a sound.

However, if you define "sounds" as "interpretations of sound waves by a creature" then, by definition, if there is no creature there, then there is no sound there.
 
Zacrates
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 07:15 pm
@Deftil,
The Sound waves can be interpreted by creatures, but either way they are still vibrations made my objects moving, or interacting.
I guess personally i would define it as both ways. If there is a creature there than it can interpret the sound waves. If there isn't a creature there the vibrations are still there that could very well be interpreted by a creature.
 
nameless
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 09:24 pm
@Zacrates,
When a tree falls, it creates 'shock waves', 'standing pressure waves'.
These pressure waves are absolutely silent.
They must impinge on an eardrum, set it in motion. This motion, is chemo-electrically neurologically to the brain. The brain then compares these audio-vibratory impressions to a list of reference 'vibrations, sorts according to environment, social, experiential, memory, etc... and finally presents all the evidence as a 'concept'. This 'concept' is the 'sound' that we hear, a hologramic construct in Mind.
In front of your nose, despite long refuted 'naive realism's' insistance, there is absolute silence.
(Do you think that there is actually 'light' and 'color' 'out there'? Really?)
The tree makes no 'sound' (unless you define 'sound' as; 'standing pressure waves as interpreted in/by the mind of the hearer') if no ear is there to 'hear'.
The tree does not fall if there's no eye to see!
The tree does not even exist, if there is no mind to conceive/perceive.
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Fri 12 Sep, 2008 10:59 pm
@nameless,
I have to say, perception comes in the butterfly effect, and to make a point, the answer is obvious. While the tree is nameless when not perceived, there is little doubt it exists when it has potential. *cough*
 
Gwyniviere
 
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 01:28 am
@Zacrates,
it's a metaphor... the tree falling is you let's say; and the forest represents others
 
Holiday20310401
 
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 10:38 am
@Gwyniviere,
I was also being ambiguous in my statements. But it doesn't matter. As long as the tree belongs to a system, whatever phenomenon it undergoes will affect the whole system, even if in the slightest manner.
 
Zacrates
 
Reply Sat 13 Sep, 2008 11:15 am
@Holiday20310401,
A very interesting point.
 
Theaetetus
 
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 12:03 am
@Gwyniviere,
If someone makes a phone call, and no one answers to receive it, was a phone call really made?
 
Deftil
 
Reply Sun 14 Sep, 2008 12:23 am
@Theaetetus,
Theaetetus;24845 wrote:
If someone makes a phone call, and no one answers to receive it, was a phone call really made?

Not unless the phone company is trying to cheat you!
 
chadbbad
 
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 04:47 pm
@Zacrates,
yes. If a wood chuck could chuck would a wood chuch chuck wood?
 
paulhanke
 
Reply Fri 14 Nov, 2008 08:45 pm
@nameless,
nameless wrote:
The tree does not even exist, if there is no mind to conceive/perceive.


If a mind materializes and no tree is there for it to perceive, does it make a thought?
 
nameless
 
Reply Sat 15 Nov, 2008 02:38 am
@Holiday20310401,
Holiday20310401;24785 wrote:
I have to say, perception comes in the butterfly effect, and to make a point, the answer is obvious. While the tree is nameless when not perceived, there is little doubt it exists when it has potential. *cough*

There is great doubt;
'Undifferentiated potential' =/= (differentiated) existence. (Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics)
 
OctoberMist
 
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 07:34 pm
@Zacrates,
Zacrates said:

Quote:

If a tree falls and there is nobody to hear it does it make a sound?


Of course it makes a sound. What a silly question.

No offense, but this is such a silly premise. It implies that another object/person must be present for the first object/person to have physical values.
 
validity
 
Reply Sun 16 Nov, 2008 09:15 pm
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist wrote:
Zacrates said:



Of course it makes a sound. What a silly question.

No offense, but this is such a silly premise. It implies that another object/person must be present for the first object/person to have physical values.


I think the purpose of such a question is to identify the idea that sound is an interpretation of a physical process that occurs in the mind.

To use another example, when we see a red apple, is the colour red a property of the apple or is it an interpretation in our mind of the wavelength of light reflected off the apple. Similarly is sound a property of a falling tree or is it all in the mind.
 
Solipsistic Cat
 
Reply Tue 18 Nov, 2008 02:15 am
@OctoberMist,
OctoberMist wrote:
Zacrates said:



Of course it makes a sound. What a silly question.

No offense, but this is such a silly premise. It implies that another object/person must be present for the first object/person to have physical values.



Lets have another example then.
A tree just fell over in my back garden.
Did it really?

You have absolutely no way of knowing, because all the information you are given is thorugh several very unreliable relays.
Firstly, My perceptions, then my relation of those, then your perceptions of what i said.

My point is, you cannot be certain of anything beyond your own senses, and you only have a visceral (ie. Not logical) reason for believing in those.
 
 

 
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