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

The concept expressed by the above question is most similar to that expressed by which of the following?

a) I think, therefore I am.
b) "That which we call a rose, by any other name, would smell as sweet."
c) Can't see the forest for the trees.
d) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
e) Heisenberg's uncertainty principle.
 
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I would definitely say b.

That which produces a sound when we are present, when absent, would sound as well.

How do you like that, huh?
[ June 02, 2006: Message edited by: Edwin Dalorzo ]
 
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c, both deal with trees and forests

Or if you want it philosophically, e
 
lowercase baba
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if nobody is there, how do you know it fell?
 
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Fred, that would be in Schroedinger's yard, wouldn't it?
[ June 02, 2006: Message edited by: Stan James ]
 
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Oddly enough, I disagree with all of you. The answer is clearly "a", as the question is about whether or not there is such a thing as objective existence.
 
Marshal
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f) Have you stopped beating your wife?

It isn't possible for a tree to fall in a forest with nobody there to hear it. Squirrels can hear. Birds can hear. For all I know spiders can hear too.
 
marc weber
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Originally posted by Ernest Friedman-Hill:
... The answer is clearly "a", as the question is about whether or not there is such a thing as objective existence.


Then might 'd' apply as well, as it relates to objective reality?
 
Edwin Dalorzo
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It isn't possible for a tree to fall in a forest with nobody there to hear it. Squirrels can hear. Birds can hear. For all I know spiders can hear too.



Well, Paul. What if the tree falls during a forestal fire, and all those animals you said are gone or dead?


if nobody is there, how do you know it fell?



Let's change the question for you, budy.

Yesterday you went to the forest, and the tree was upright. You went back home, and this morning, when you returned to the forest, the three was down. It happend that a deaf beaver, sharping its teeth, nibbled the tree trunk during the night, making it fall down.

Now you are sure it fell down. Did it make a noise?
[ June 02, 2006: Message edited by: Edwin Dalorzo ]
 
fred rosenberger
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Maybe the the forrest elves gently lowered it to the gound to prevent the deaf beaver from being squashed.
 
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It depends on how you define the word "sound". When a tree falls, it causes waves to move through the air. If someone is near by, their ears can detect these waves and cause the brain to experience noise. This is a "sound".

Some things which make movements in the air are considered silent to us though. An ant moving its leg will make a ripple in the air, but we can't hear it, so we say that the ant doesn't make a sound.

So, is the sound a movement of the air which could be heard if someone was present, or is a movement in the air only a sound at the point when it becomes interpreted as a sound by the ear-brain combination?
[ June 05, 2006: Message edited by: Dave Lenton ]
 
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and the nobel prize for physics goes to ...
 
fred rosenberger
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is a movement in the air only a sound at the point when it becomes interpreted as a sound by the ear-brain combination?



to which i'd add... whose brain? my dog can hear lots of stuff i cannot. and lets go a step further. i could set up some electronics that detect waves in the air that are too low for any living creatures ears/brains to detect, but there's not difference in the waves beyond... amplitude? (is that what determines volume?

another case - if my grandfather takes out his hearing aids, do i stop making noises when i talk, since he can't hear me anymore?
 
marc weber
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For what it's worth...

Humans perceive sound by the sense of hearing. By sound, we commonly mean the vibrations that travel through air and can be heard by humans. However, scientists and engineers use a wider definition of sound that includes low and high frequency vibrations in air that cannot be heard...


Ref: Wikipedia - Sound.

But... Is the question here really about sound?
 
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