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bobby
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Message 1741784 - Posted: 13 Nov 2015, 15:36:54 UTC - in response to Message 1741745.  


So Bobby, lets put you in the dock for a change. If nobody was around did that tree make a sound or not.

Q1. Yes or no?
Valid Question.
Q2. Why?
Valid Question
Q3. Who gives a damn anyway?
Killed the thread.

It's been an interesting thread with some interesting posts. Unfortunately, Q3 has killed the thread. For those who feel philosophical & ask as to why, think carefully before it's asked.

With respect to whether Q1 is valid, "If nobody was around did that tree make a sound or not." "Yes or no?" is that a "Yes" to the tree making a sound or a "Yes" to the "or not"? Similarly for the "no"? That being said if the sentence had been "If nobody was around did that tree make a sound?", my answer would remain "Don't know".

As carelessness has been repeatedly demonstrated by the author of the OP, I feel no obligation to avoid it now. Why do you believe Q3 kills the thread?
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1741809 - Posted: 13 Nov 2015, 17:17:38 UTC

I would contended that it is impossible to kill a thread about philosophy, as being an abstract subject in itself it is at once both dead and alive.
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Message 1741850 - Posted: 13 Nov 2015, 20:09:56 UTC - in response to Message 1741814.  
Last modified: 13 Nov 2015, 20:11:31 UTC

As carelessness has been repeatedly demonstrated by the author of the OP, I feel no obligation to avoid it now

Your choice.

Indeed. And your earlier criticism (since edited to oblivion) that it was "only in my opinion", demonstrated more of that carelessness, for while it is true that it is my opinion, to add "only" requires that you check with everyone else first.

"If nobody was around did that tree make a sound?", my answer would remain "Don't know".

Well there we are Ladies and Gentlemen. After all the sidetracking and obfuscation and lessons in word meanings, the man doesn't know or has no opinion.

If you'd thought about the comments I attributed to the philosopher in my initial post to this thread, you'd see the same answer ("how could one know whether there was a sound?"). My opinion on the question is that certainty is not possible in the scenario as described, more simply, it is unknowable whether there was a sound; if you'd wanted my opinion earlier you only needed to ask.

as being an abstract subject in itself it is at once both dead and alive.

Ooohh this thread is a cat :-)))

Meow!

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1741912 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 1:35:43 UTC
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 1:54:18 UTC

Is it safe to assume that by returning to restate this:

If this damn tree falls in the forest and nobody is there to see it, does it make a sound?

- as you have - that you have conceded some ground on this point, Sir?

I will gladly give a view on the quote above, but your question, as it is stated, is carelessly constructed.

You:

...suggest that most everyone else quite happily got the gist of what I was saying.

- but for others to get the gist of why I might make one response rather than another (when my thoughts on what constitutes sound may have been modified by the philosophical question this thread opened with, or might even have progressed to what constitutes perception or reality itself) you curtail with:

Hopefully we might get a direct answer to a direct question, without sidestepping and wanting to define what sound is beforehand.


And when you do get a direct answer, which by rights could have intrigued you as it is clearly not the answer you yourself have reached, we get this very poor response:

Well there we are Ladies and Gentlemen. After all the sidetracking and obfuscation and lessons in word meanings, the man doesn't know or has no opinion.

On your terms however, my answer to the question I think you meant to ask, has to be: no, it makes waves.

edit: and if I was asked to choose between the three answers so far expressed, I would rank Bobby's the better of the three.
We have nothing to fear but fear itself. Apart from pain. And maybe humiliation. And obviously death. And failure. But apart from fear, pain and humiliation, failure and the unknown and death - we have nothing to fear. Who’s with me?
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Message 1741997 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 9:26:32 UTC
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 9:49:05 UTC

*boggle eyes at everyone* I had no idea I would have so much catching up to do! :)

I will start with Winterknight :)

And what if a third party, some way off, heard a tree falling down, but couldn't find it so assumes she is imaging things or going mad. (no not you Annie)

:))) Well I had a disturbingly spooky experience two weeks ago which made me wonder if I was and left me a complete physical and emotional wreck for several hours afterwards. If I'm honest, a part of me is still very ill at ease with it. It's most probably definitely off-topic and not the stuff of science so if I do post about it it will most likely be in the cafe, but it involved hearing something no one else did.

With respect to what your mad third party hears however :) I would have to assume he :) is either in the forest, or is familiar with the sound of a falling tree - otherwise, how would they know, or surmise that a tree was the source. A drought-stricken tree for example, may sound like a series of gunshots as it falls. The one I saw fall after it had been struck by lightning did. If you play with the lid of a boiling kettle or saucepan, it's not difficult to believe you're listening to a howling wind. The first time I heard a mother fox calling her babies (during a late night bin forage on my road) I thought was someone shrieking. Were a person to ever shriek like that now, I am now less likely to be of any assistance to them if they needed help. I could even make the mistake of saying to an investigating police officer the following day, that I had heard nothing at all.

Judging distances based on sound also varies dramatically. The trains traversing a railway bridge about 150m from my house, under some weather conditions, sound like they're only fifty metres away, and about 300m or more away at others. So what we "hear" as sound is not only highly subjective, but depends on previous experience - all of which is inside our heads. Which is where we do all our imagining and where we start going mad.

And having just read all that back to myself - I have no idea whether I have answered your question WK :) I also sound like I might be saying that there have to be ears in order for there to be "sound" for without them there's only "feels" ... but I will get back to you all on that :)))

@Chris: To avoid this getting too lengthy, I'll respond to your response in a separate post if I may? :) But it will be later today.

edit: that bin foraging bit up there was what the foxes were doing - not myself.... just thought I should clarify that :)

oh...and did we say we like humans too? Well we do :)
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Message 1742003 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 11:05:09 UTC

The tree falling question is one of the best traps for philosophers - the answer depends on the exact wording of the question, and the exact definitions employed by both the one posing the question and the one proposing the answer.
Thus if the questioner asks "Does the tree make a sound", and the questioner's definition of "sound" is to do with the actual "sound waves" generated by the action of the tree falling and hitting the ground then the questioner's expected answer is "Yes".
However, if the respondent to the question has in their mind the that "sound" is to do with the perception, reception, or otherwise detection of the "sound waves" generated by said tree falling then the answer is "no", on the proviso that there is nothing close enough to the event to detect that disturbance.

(Likewise for "noise", and other descriptive words that may be employed in the argument)
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Message 1742037 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 14:46:42 UTC - in response to Message 1741999.  
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 14:47:55 UTC

Hiyah Annie, So nice to talk to someone with their feet on the ground for a change :-)))

Both Smokey and Bobby simply do not have any answer to the question.

This appears to be a lie (though is likely more carelessness). I gave you an answer, the reason for that answer, and an opinion about what the question was intending to establish. Whether you chose to accept any of those is not my concern, to state that I did not have an answer is my concern.

So rather than admit it, they both tie themselves in knots and sidestep having to answer. And by doing so publicly dig themselves deeper holes. Their choice, people will make their own judgements upon that.

In my opinion to pretend to have knowledge when one doesn't is to dig oneself into a hole, I prefer not to pretend. An admission that something is unknown is often appropriate, and, in my experience, such an admission has frequently been helpful. Why do you believe there are only two valid responses to the question?

On your terms however, my answer to the question I think you meant to ask, has to be: no, it makes waves.

There we go again! trying to define sound rather than answering the simple question.

Or, perhaps, there you go again assuming that a question that appears to be simple to construct, must be simple to answer. It seems that you believe that we all have the same set of assumptions that provide context for the question, and to not comprehend why this may not be so. For instance, when you said "willful only has one l", I thought I might understand what you were referring to (one l in the middle of the word), though chose to respond literally, that in your spelling there were two ls (one in the middle and one at the end), and that your correction was not necessarily applicable as the word has a context dependent spelling; a simple matter of spelling turns out to be not quite as simple after all.

This of course brings me back to my original assertion, that philosophy and philosophers are a waste of time. When you get the responses that you do from that assertion* it really only proves my case :-)

* I have to use that word, else Bobby will complain.

Heh, you do not have to use that word, though there are a set of words I would complain about.

In my third post to this thread (here), I also mentioned basic foundations of mathematics as being a product of philosophers, others have also mentioned mathematics. Number theory, set theory, complex numbers, and many others are the product of philosophers; are these, like logic, in your opinion a waste of time? Do you believe the people that use these concepts on a daily basis have a similar opinion regarding philosophy to your own? Do you believe they should? Why?
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1742062 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 15:52:58 UTC - in response to Message 1742003.  

However, if the respondent to the question has in their mind the that "sound" is to do with the perception, reception, or otherwise detection of the "sound waves" generated by said tree falling then the answer is "no", on the proviso that there is nothing close enough to the event to detect that disturbance.
By humans. I doubt there won't be some insect near enough if it is a forest and there is air to transmit sound. The nearby trees will hear it when the ground their roots are in vibrates and their leaves will likewise hear it if there is air. You see the definition of hear is also important.
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Message 1742063 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 15:56:43 UTC - in response to Message 1742055.  
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 16:02:08 UTC

It seems that you believe that we all have the same set of assumptions that provide context for the question, and to not comprehend why this may not be so. For instance, when you said "willful only has one l", I thought I might understand what you were referring to (one l in the middle of the word), though chose to respond literally, that in your spelling there were two ls (one in the middle and one at the end), and that your correction was not necessarily applicable as the word has a context dependent spelling; a simple matter of spelling turns out to be not quite as simple after all.

10/10 :-)) I have never seen a better response from someone niggled after having it pointed out that their spelling was incorrect! You deserve a medal for entertaining us Bobby. Please carry on :-)

5/10. More carelessness. I do not believe my spelling was incorrect, nor do I believe yours was incorrect.
[edit]0/10. Further carelessness. What evidence do you have to support the claim of being niggled?[/edit]
[edit][edit]-10/10. On what grounds do you presume to speak for others (as demonstrated by use of the word "us")?[/edit][/edit]
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1742072 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 16:37:40 UTC

You get my point Gary - it is all to do with the definitions used by both the questioner and the respondent.
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Message 1742090 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 17:38:45 UTC - in response to Message 1742074.  
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 17:39:58 UTC

This is spectacular , please please carry on!

Ices, lollies, popcorn! Deckchairs for hire, roll up Ladies & Gents the show is commencing.

The nearby trees will hear it when the ground their roots are in vibrates and their leaves will likewise hear it if there is air.

Roots vibrating in the ground as in a sort of sympathetic response would not so much be heard as we understand it, rather felt, acknowledged, or sensed. But as we know, the sound that human ears hear is basically due to the eardrum vibrating at different frequencies. So not 100% sure on that one. Good point there though!

You might want to listen to sound as touch linked in my earlier post, it seems some believe sound is felt by humans. Sight could similarly be viewed as touch (the touch of photons on retinas), as could smell and taste (the touch of molecules on receptors), thus four of my five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, can be viewed as specializations of the fifth, touching.

While that earlier post generated some discussion about the reliability of facts, the other issues raised (sound as touch and potential problems with inductive reasoning) appear to have gone unnoticed, which may be a little odd given the thread's subject.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1742095 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 17:49:38 UTC - in response to Message 1742090.  

The nearby trees will hear it when the ground their roots are in vibrates and their leaves will likewise hear it if there is air.


Roots vibrating in the ground as in a sort of sympathetic response would not so much be heard as we understand it, rather felt, acknowledged, or sensed. But as we know, the sound that human ears hear is basically due to the eardrum vibrating at different frequencies. So not 100% sure on that one. Good point there though!


You might want to listen to sound as touch linked in my earlier post, it seems some believe sound is felt by humans. Sight could similarly be viewed as touch (the touch of photons on retinas), as could smell and taste (the touch of molecules on receptors), thus four of my five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, can be viewed as specializations of the fifth, touching.

While that earlier post generated some discussion about the reliability of facts, the other issues raised (sound as touch and potential problems with inductive reasoning) appear to have gone unnoticed, which may be a little odd given the thread's subject.


Synesthesia is fascinating to me, but the idea that trees might feel pain and hear their surroundings is even more intriguing.
The mind is a weird and mysterious place
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Message 1742100 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 18:12:17 UTC - in response to Message 1742097.  

it seems some believe sound is felt by humans.

That is incorrect, low frequency sound CAN be detected by ALL humans.

What is incorrect?

Infrasound, sometimes referred to as low-frequency sound, is sound that is lower in frequency than 20 Hz (hertz) or cycles per second, the "normal" limit of human hearing. Hearing becomes gradually less sensitive as frequency decreases, so for humans to perceive infrasound, the sound pressure must be sufficiently high. The ear is the primary organ for sensing infrasound, but at higher intensities it is possible to feel infrasound vibrations in various parts of the body.

Various military experiments have been carried out using infrasound weapons to topple buildings, and mash internal organs to a pulp. Some people even think that the low frequency of the trumpets in the bible story of Jericho caused the walls to topple.

I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1742103 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 18:22:00 UTC - in response to Message 1742101.  
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 18:22:34 UTC

Meh not playing silly games.

How can I make a correction if I don't understand what was incorrect. The statement you quoted did not appear to be invalidated by the comment you posted, thus "incorrect" appears to be a non sequitur.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that ...

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Message 1742107 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 18:39:58 UTC
Last modified: 14 Nov 2015, 18:42:35 UTC

I'm not here people. I'm being very busy doing something which I won't get away with not actually doing for more than a few minutes before I have to go somewhere else and be busy doing food :) but re:

the British spelling of willful :) and
the American spelling of wilful :)

...the important thing to remember is to make sure there are at least two L's :)

edit: although not like this -> willfu.

oh...and did we say we like humans too? Well we do :)
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Message 1742121 - Posted: 14 Nov 2015, 20:07:51 UTC - in response to Message 1742074.  

This is spectacular , please please carry on!

Ices, lollies, popcorn! Deckchairs for hire, roll up Ladies & Gents the show is commencing.

The nearby trees will hear it when the ground their roots are in vibrates and their leaves will likewise hear it if there is air.

Roots vibrating in the ground as in a sort of sympathetic response would not so much be heard as we understand it, rather felt, acknowledged, or sensed. But as we know, the sound that human ears hear is basically due to the eardrum vibrating at different frequencies. So not 100% sure on that one. Good point there though!

Using your 2nd account for silliness?
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