Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
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18-08-2014, 09:06 AM
Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
I brought this up before, but wanted to ask again and get some responses from scientist who could address it.

This is about sound and color. Without a mind to interpret the situation, is a forest still "green" [with assorted colored flowers], and is the sound of the wind flowing through the trees still "producing the sound"?

In a discussion with another person [about a youtube video of a physicist, or something] he brought up that it is all just "waves" and it isn't until a brain senses these waves does the "color" or "sound" actually become real. Until then, there is no color or sound.

I know that such things are a product of waves, but without any mind [or recording device for a brain to later see/hear] I don't see how these aspects would still be there. It seems like it is a matter of "over intellectuailzing", but would love to hear your response.

Thanks guys!
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18-08-2014, 09:11 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
A rock is a rock whether or not you are able to perceive it. A bush is green whether or not you're blind. The brain does not control it's environment.

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18-08-2014, 09:19 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
The ear picks up sound waves, the brain interprets them. No Brain, no sound
The eye sees light within its visible range, the brain interprets the light. No brain, no color.
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18-08-2014, 09:22 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(18-08-2014 09:19 AM)pablo Wrote:  The ear picks up sound waves, the brain interprets them. No Brain, no sound
The eye sees light within its visible range, the brain interprets the light. No brain, no color.

Sound is not an idea, neither is color. Both will still be the same if you don't perceive it.


I'm pretty sure I'm stating the law of existential primacy or something like that.

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18-08-2014, 09:45 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
It's just semantics. Does one mean sound to refer to a neurological process? Or to longitudinal vibrations in a medium?

The former exists only in a human observer. The latter exists as an independent naturalistic phenomenon.

If the term is adequately defined there's no ambiguity.

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18-08-2014, 09:59 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(18-08-2014 09:06 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  This is about sound and color. Without a mind to interpret the situation, is a forest still "green" [with assorted colored flowers], and is the sound of the wind flowing through the trees still "producing the sound"?

I think this is a good reflection, it seems to me that you're effectively asking the question where does the observer end and reality start?

I think it's worth spending a bit of time just exploring your experience and seeing if you can come to any conclusions based on your own actual experience.

For myself, I have found that subject and object are somewhat inseparable, in that my experience of reality is in part a description of what's "out there" and in part just a projection of my own mind's way of looking at reality.

Regarding sound and colour, more objectively these are just different wavelengths or frequencies of sound wave and light wave respectively.

It's true that different colours of light are different frequencies (e.g. the experience of colour does connect back to physical differentiations in objective reality) but perhaps it's reasonable to say that the decision to represent different light frequencies as different "colours" is something that my brain has applied to the situation.

Phil
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18-08-2014, 10:09 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
The forest may be green to you, but not to a color blind person. Different animals will see it as different colors and even shapes.

IMO the forest is all those things or none of them. I am tending towards none of them. They are faulty perceptions, every one of them.

[Image: dobie.png]Science is the process we've designed to be responsible for generating our best guess as to what the fuck is going on. Girly Man
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18-08-2014, 10:10 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
I like the "just semantics" point.

Let's assume an asteroid explodes over the ground and levels trees in a non-specified number of acres. Did that event make noise if no one was there to witness it?

I would say, "of course it did". Sure, the sound produced waves and the shock wave would have done so as well. But the guy I was talking to would say, "no".
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18-08-2014, 10:20 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
Sound:
Vibration of a physical medium.

Using this definition (the physical one), the answer is "yes". Things happen even if we're not there to experience them. Only newborns believe otherwise, and I'm not even sure about them.

The truth is absolute. Life forms are specks of specks (...) of specks of dust in the universe.
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18-08-2014, 10:29 AM (This post was last modified: 18-08-2014 11:07 AM by Bucky Ball.)
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(18-08-2014 09:06 AM)DeavonReye Wrote:  I brought this up before, but wanted to ask again and get some responses from scientist who could address it.

This is about sound and color. Without a mind to interpret the situation, is a forest still "green" [with assorted colored flowers], and is the sound of the wind flowing through the trees still "producing the sound"?

In a discussion with another person [about a youtube video of a physicist, or something] he brought up that it is all just "waves" and it isn't until a brain senses these waves does the "color" or "sound" actually become real. Until then, there is no color or sound.

I know that such things are a product of waves, but without any mind [or recording device for a brain to later see/hear] I don't see how these aspects would still be there. It seems like it is a matter of "over intellectuailzing", but would love to hear your response.

Thanks guys!

The actual spectrum of both emitted and absorbed radiation of various kinds, is actually far larger than the general range in which humans perceive both light and sound. The vibrations are there, (as cjlr said) whether the medium of "perception" is there, or not, or intact (functioning), or not. Deaf people do not percieve sound that is there, blind people do not perceive light that is there, and normal primates have varying ranges of perception of both light and sound. For example we know gamma rays are coming in all the time from space, but we don't perceive them, unless they are at a catostrophic level. So yes. Reality is not dependent on a receptor. For millions of years elephants communicated by low fequency sounds before humans discovered they were there. Does that mean they never existed ? Nope.

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