Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
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18-08-2014, 12:01 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(18-08-2014 10:29 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  
(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.

This reminds me of an intro to philosophy class I took some years ago. It was a great class though I do not recall all of the specifics; however, we did have the conversation:

If a tree fell in a forest and no one was around to hear it; does it still make a sound?

Vibrations exist even if we perceive them as sound or not; as mentioned before, the deaf do not 'hear' the sounds but can certainly feel the vibrations. Sound and color, to me, a matter of perception. There are those who can hear sounds but remain tone deaf so their perception of sound will again be different to perhaps you or I same with color.

We also had a conversations about the physical nature of the world too. The chair you are sitting in, does it really exist? Or does it exist because you only perceive it to exist? Though I can't remember how that conversation panned out LOL as long as I can touch it, feel it, perceive it, it exists.

I agree with BuckyBall, just because we can't hear something or see in color doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We may have limitations of what we can see and hear though.

I tend to ask random questions, sometime stupid ones, but I can almost guarantee I'm smarter for asking than not.
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18-08-2014, 12:23 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
Yes, it is a good conversation/topic and I appreciate you guys chiming in! :-)
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18-08-2014, 12:25 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
If a tree falls in the forest, and the only person around is deaf...

Cmon, the vibrations in the medium are sound. The hearing and understanding the vibrations are independent of sound. Its arguing semantics; hardly a philosophical question.
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18-08-2014, 12:25 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(18-08-2014 12:01 PM)Kemasyn Wrote:  
(18-08-2014 10:29 AM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  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.

This reminds me of an intro to philosophy class I took some years ago. It was a great class though I do not recall all of the specifics; however, we did have the conversation:

If a tree fell in a forest and no one was around to hear it; does it still make a sound?

Vibrations exist even if we perceive them as sound or not; as mentioned before, the deaf do not 'hear' the sounds but can certainly feel the vibrations. Sound and color, to me, a matter of perception. There are those who can hear sounds but remain tone deaf so their perception of sound will again be different to perhaps you or I same with color.

We also had a conversations about the physical nature of the world too. The chair you are sitting in, does it really exist? Or does it exist because you only perceive it to exist? Though I can't remember how that conversation panned out LOL as long as I can touch it, feel it, perceive it, it exists.

I agree with BuckyBall, just because we can't hear something or see in color doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We may have limitations of what we can see and hear though.

Yes. It's just semiotic equivocation. If there can be said to be such a thing as epistemological consensus, it is that we learn what exists through our perceptions, and if we believe something to exist, it does so independently of our perceptions.

The whole topic is pointless, and is easily resolved by clear definitions.

Does "sound" refer to the neurological reactions in the human brain caused by vibrations in the ear drum? Then it requires a human observer, and trivially so.

Does "sound" refer to the phenomenon of vibrational waves itself? Then it does not require an observer, and trivially so.

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18-08-2014, 01:10 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(18-08-2014 12:25 PM)WeAreTheCosmos Wrote:  If a tree falls in the forest, and the only person around is deaf...

Cmon, the vibrations in the medium are sound. The hearing and understanding the vibrations are independent of sound. Its arguing semantics; hardly a philosophical question.

Like I said it was from years ago that I took the class and the details are well a bit forgotten. However; bring up the topic reminded me of the discussion and I do wonder if the point of vibrations was brought up in the conversation. I do agree that it is arguing semantics which is something I was not familiar with either at the time of the discussion. But hey that's what I'm here for to expand my ever growing knowledge base. Smile

I tend to ask random questions, sometime stupid ones, but I can almost guarantee I'm smarter for asking than not.
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18-08-2014, 01:43 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
I've always hated this argument, for the exact reasons that cljr stated.

I prefer fantasy, but I have to live in reality.
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24-08-2014, 09:24 AM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
Raw and cooked feels and philosophical zombies. Good times.

There is only one really serious philosophical question, and that is suicide. -Camus
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28-08-2014, 02:33 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
What I'd like to know is if a man says something out loud in a forest with no woman nearby to hear him, is he still wrong?
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28-08-2014, 02:40 PM
RE: Not considered "sound" if no mind to interpret it?
(28-08-2014 02:33 PM)Airportkid Wrote:  What I'd like to know is if a man says something out loud in a forest with no woman nearby to hear him, is he still wrong?

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