What does it mean in philosophy and perceptual psychology to ask 'If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound'?

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The question in philosophy and psychology is that while a tree falling "should make" sound, the existence of the sound can depend on its ability to be perceived (now or later). While physics states that a tree falling will create the vibrations we call sound, their existence as sound is only recognized when perceived (heard) and cannot be absolutely postulated unless and until this occurs. This can be extended beyond this example, as far as the metaphysical concepts of existence and perception, e.g. without someone or something there to perceive it, does the tree even exist at all?
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The philosophical and perceptual psychological background about this question:

Philosopher George Berkeley wrote A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge (1710). He wrote, in part, "But, say you, surely there is nothing easier than for me to imagine trees, for instance, in a park [...] and nobody by to perceive them. [...] The objects of sense exist only when they are perceived; the trees therefore are in the garden [...] no longer than while there is somebody by to perceive them."

"The objects of sense..." refers to objects or events that we perceive with the 5 senses--hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch. However, as a philosophy question, raises the issue of perception in philosophy: Does something still exist if we cannot perceive it with one of our senses. And, just what do we perceive...

For twenty-years after Berkeley's writing, philosophers took up " consideration of the emergence of meaning" (quote from Wikipedia). In 1754, William Fossett paraphrased Berkeley's writing in Fossett's writing, Natural States. However, it should be noted neither of these philosophers actually stated the quote in question ("If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound").

Over 100 years later, in June 1883, a question was posed in The Chautauquan magazine, "If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings would there be any sound." [Italics added].

This idea in 1700s-1800s was seminal work about the idea of perception. It has lead to a host of similarly phrased questions posed to students, first in Universities to philosophy and psychology students, and then to high school students.
The point is to generate thinking about problems of perception.

Some similarly stated questions include:
  1. If a tree falls in the forest... [some people add other details here such as distance away] but no one HEARS it...does it make a sound.
  2. If a leaf falls in the forest but no one is present to SEE it, does the leaf still fall, gathering with other leaves on the forest floor.
  3. If you SMELL the strong fragrance of aftershave, but you see no one nearby, do you assume a man just passed by before you arrived there?
  4. If you experience the distinctive TASTE of onions in a casserole but did not see anyone make or bake the food, can you be certain the cook added fresh onions to it.
  5. If you put your hand into a hole in a closed box and you TOUCH something that feels cold and wet, can you assume it came from a block of ice.
  6. (You can probably think of more of your own 'If'-perception questions.)

In each question, it seeks to make us aware of how perception affects how we interpret and assign meaning to ordinary events and experiences--or, to experimental experiences scientists or researchers create for us. It asks us to consider events and meanings of events, even if we personally do not witness or experience them, e.g.
  • The tree no one heard still thudded; the leaf still detached from the tree without requiring our sight; aftershave is typically associated with men, even if we missed seeing the man pass by; the food might have contained onion salt versus chopped onions; and lastly, everything that is 'cold and wet' is not ice.
  • Likewise, Blacks and women endured years of oppression... Events halfway around the world, like wars, take place even if we don't see the fighting.... Nazis killed millions of Jews in the Holocaust... Babies and children still die of starvation in some countries... etc.

A year after The Chautauquan magazine posited the question, magazine Scientific American took up the ongoing [until then strictly philosophical] debate in 1884, providing a science explanation for sound, ""Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound." (Scientific American).

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Below, other contributors take up various positions, including strictly scientific points of view.

Related Response to the above:
This is a philosophy question. Yes, events happen even though we are not paying attention. This is speaking straight logic. However, it may just depend on the individual's concept of reality.


A Question About Evidence
How do we know said tree fell if no one was around to witness it, or even hear it? It's a philosophical question, so it does puzzle the mind. It's like exercise for the mind: the more you use it the stronger it gets.


Another answer that attempts to bridge perception with science:

Although this question is often restated as a crude satire, "If Helen Keller fell over in a forest would there be any noise?", the answer stays the same. A sound does not depend on the perception by a sentient hearer. Examining the question, there are three conditions that set the scenario:
  1. A tree falls - It is presumed that the tree falls through other trees branches and strikes the ground in a manner that makes satisfying "Thunk!" all of which activities generate sound waves and or vibrations. This is technically a sound or colloquially a noise.
  2. in the woods - This is an ecosystem filled with receptors some definitely sentient (humans) and some of debatable levels of sentience (deer, raccoons etc.) all of which have the capacity of hearing
  3. and nobody is there to hear it - Fully sentient beings, humans, are excluded but animals are not excluded.

and a question - does it still make a sound.

In physics, the creation of sound waves in a medium constitutes making a sound or noise. In the smaller definition that a sound can only be present if it is heard, the question only postulates the absence of sentient (human) receptors. The existence of hearing animals in a forest environment would be anticipated/ Therefor the sound would have been heard and even under the more limited definition (strictly physics) there would have been a sound.

Sound (noise) is mechanical energy. It is physically real. A source of sound can (will) make the sound whether we are there to hear it or not. Or whether we can hear it or not. That's more of a "physics" answer, but it is a "real" as anything you are likely to encounter.

The definition of sound is the periodic compression and rarefaction of air. Thus whether a person or animal is around to hear the sound (the experience, sometimes referred to as qualia) or not, does not change the fact that the air is still moved in this way, and a sound is produced.

Most basic answer:
No, because the definition of sound is "something that you hear." No one's there to hear the tree fall, so the tree doesn't make a sound. This answer is valid as long as no details are observed technically.
The answer depends upon the particular definition of sound, whether it is the scientific (created vibrations) or the pragmatic (sound is the interpretation of these vibrations). There is no argument that a vibration occurs which will generate sound under any set of normal circumstances. Some opinions and views follow:

One Possible Answer
Everything that vibrates the air creates the potential for sound, regardless of what conscious being is there to perceive it in the first place. If there is nobody is there to perceive it occurring, then it could not exist as sound, only vibration.

Sound is a subjective interaction with matter. All that sound is, is vibrations through a medium, without humans to perceive it, those vibrations that we call sound, when the tree fell, would make vibrations, but "sound" as we know it, couldn't exist, since no conscious being was there to interpret those vibrations.

A Simpler Answer
For example, if a Deaf person was in the woods and a tree fell, would it make a sound? No, because their auditory system would not pick up the vibrations that make sound. They may feel the lower vibrations in their body, but not the sound.


A Personal Point of View Answer
No matter what, whether heard or not, the tree would make a sound. This conclusion would make sense due to the fact if a tree falls in the forest, and someone IS around to hear it, it WOULD make a sound! The "someone" does not have to be there! As an example, picture yourself as a child living with your mum. Your TV is rather loud, and tunes out all other sounds. Your mum is shouting to you from another room. You can't hear her, but she is making a sound! And maybe you're thinking, "Well the TV is tuning out her voice, so that's why!" Not true! Now picture the same thing, except the TV is not on, and you are lounging on the couch, not deep in thought. Your mum yells at you again, asking for a favor from the upstairs bedroom. Though no other noise is being made except for hers, you still can't hear her! In this description, You're not around, or close enough, to hear your mum's voice! Yet she is still making a sound!

The scenarios above would make a sound, because mum, herself, could hear her own voice. So, I do not agree with that answer and support all the perspectives above the last one. To put it simply, vibrating air is only vibrating air. That does not mean that it is making a sound, because a sound requires sensory organs and a nervous system to process the vibrations and then interpret those vibrations as sound.

Here is my analogy: If a person blows a dog whistle, does it make a sound? Not to a human, but only if there is a dog close enough to hear it.Then it would make a sound.

So the answer really should be, in my opinion: if a tree falls in the woods it does not make a sound unless there is anything from an insect to a human being to hear it. It Depends on Factors Involved It depends how hard the tree fell. What if it fell so hard that it can be heard half way around the world? Also are we assuming that the vibration in the air is not sound until it reaches our ear? What is the speed of sound? Is a ball not a ball until we catch it? Is wind not wind until we feel it? Does a chair exist to a blind individual until the individual sits in it? Sound exists whether we are around or not. It is only the matter of if anyone is around to translate the sound into information. Another Opinion I think that it does make a sound because if it makes a sound when we are there then why would it not it if we were not there?

If I knock on wood we all hear the same thing so we cannot change what it sounds like on our own (maybe small differences but barely).

So the sound is not completely in our mind; meaning that it must make a sound no matter if anyone is there or not

Really it Would
The reason it would is the same reason you don't hear much Japanese in America. Some one makes that sound and others hear it, but you don't. The answer is yes because you may not hear it and no one else will, but it will make a noise. It's the same as if you weren't near the forest but another was and a tree falls. They hear but you don't. When they tell you they heard a tree fall you believe them. That's because that person heard it but, you did not. Another Opinion Says No When the tree falls and it finally makes impact with the ground a vibration forms (in the same way ripples form when a rock is thrown into still water). This vibration sets out from all directions of the point of impact, if there is a living being within the range that the vibration can travel it will then be interpreted as a noise. If there is no living being within the distance the vibration can travel it will not be interpreted as a "noise", to be a noise it must first be experienced/perceived. So the new question is 'If a vibration is caused by something in the woods is and no one can hear or feel it is it real'? O.K. the only real answer to any metaphysical questions such as these is that consciousness makes the sound into how it will be perceived. Without consciousness the vibration could not be interpreted as a sound. Your conscious thought (the voice in your head asking this question) was the answer to the question all along. Answer Yes, it does. Sound is mechanical energy. And sound will be created when the tree falls. If no one is there to hear it, that does not negate the fact that the sound was created and radiates out from where the tree fell.

No "opinions" are needed. This is a question that is very straightforward. There is nothing rhetorical about this query, nor is there anything mysterious or metaphysical involved. The question asks about what would happen if a tree fell in the forest, and we have to assume it did to run this "thought experiment" to its conclusion. And that conclusion is that there would, indeed, be sound. It's not rocket science. According to Definition of Sound, No. According to Merriam-Webster, sound is the sensation perceived by the sense of hearing. So that means that vibrating air is just that, mechanical vibrations of air molecules. When those vibrations are perceived by the sense of hearing, then they become a sensation; the sensation of sound. That is why we have an auditory cortex in the neocortex of the brain that interprets those vibrations as a tree falling, a bird singing, or the wind whistling through the leaves.

Here is an example: If you never heard a tree fall as it crashed to the ground and you were standing in the woods blindfolded as one fell, you would hear noise. The noise would be the vibrations in the air of the tree hitting the ground. Most likely you would hear something, but you would not know what it was. But, if you had heard enough similar noises before, your brain would then be able to identify the vibrations as being produced by a tree falling. Then it would be a sound.

So, going by the Merriam-Webster definition, the tree would make air molecules vibrate, but would not make a 'sound' if it fell in the woods and nobody was there to hear it.
  • The dictionary definition of hearing is "a special sensation, produced by stimulation of the auditory nerve; the stimulus (waves of sound) acting not directly on the nerve, but through the medium of the endolymph on the delicate epithelium cells, constituting the peripheral terminations of the nerve." The sound we hear is the interpretation of the stimulus we receive, which can only be made by some cognition, i.e.- Information processing which must be linked in some way with a stored memory.

Therefore I reason that though the tree will still cause the wave or disturbance of air as it falls; the fact that noise is merely an interpretation of the wave via a sensory organ processed by a developed intelligence, then it follows that if there is no one to hear it fall and process the disturbance it causes, then it does not make a noise.
  • Naturally, events happen regardless of whether someone is there to witness them. Sound is a wave that forms due to an action (the friction of the air with our vocal cords produces our voice, and the collision between the tree and the ground produce the sound of the impact). So, if a tree falls it will sound, even if no one hears it it will still have had a sound. The only place where there is no sound is a vacuum, so if a tree falls in the moon then it would not sound, regardless of you being there to hear it or not.
  • Even if there is no human to hear or see the tree fall, there is another creature who will hear it. A falling tree may not make a difference to us humans, but it could be a lost home to a squirrel living inside of the tree, which would hear a massive thud as the mass of wood came tumbling down to the forest floor. And now with the population of people at almost 7 billion, it is unlikely for no one to notice a tree fall. But if the tree fell in space, than no one would hear, because sound requires oxygen to resonate, so that organisms can hear it. So what if a tree falls on a planet with less oxygen, say Venus. The sound of the falling tree (depending on what distance you were listening to it from) would be less softer, and being feet from it would still require hearing aids to hear. But it doesn't matter, because the tree would just evaporate into Venus' harsh atmosphere. The noxious gas clouds would melt the tree, or the heat would burn it instantly, therefore concluding that a tree (theoretically speaking) would neither make a sound, nor exist in open space in the first place, because of the extreme temperatures and climate. Trees would only weigh more on Jupiter compared to earth, and if one was planted on their moon, it would be possible for an astronaut to carry it. And it could not fall, it would would just float around in the space time continuum, until being sucked up into a black hole vortex, eaten alive the tree would shrink to no size and infinite density. And do not forget about the civil rights of trees. Talking about them falling is like deciphering whether a person would make a sound if it fell in the forest with no one else around.
  • I looked up sound in the dictionary and part of the definition was something that was heard. If no one was in the forest then it did not make a SOUND. It may have made a sound WAVE yet not a sound!
  • Yes. The fact that there is no-one there that can hear it does not affect whether the falling tree makes a sound. Humans are not the only species capable of hearing anyway.
  • Yes And No Because there is no one around to hear it and yes because of its greatness so it will make a huge sound but nobody will be able to hear it
  • Yes because there are animals living in the forest so they will hear it. the tree will also produce sound because the sound waves will still move. [sound waves do not care if there is no one around to hear them]
  • Anything that falls will of course make a noise, even if it is too soft to hear, if a tree falls in a forest it is going to hit the ground and make a noise, or if it bangs against another tree it will rustle those leaves, if you drop your remote on the carpet does it make a noise? Yes, if you drop a pencil on the ground, will it make a noise? Yes! even if no one is around to hear it it will make a noise! those molecules will still carry the noise to where they eventually fade out! So in my opinion, it will make a noise!


It depends on how you define "sound". If sound is something that sends out a vibration through the air that reverberates off of our ear drums, there there is no sound. But if "sound" just means that vibration through the air, regardless to whether there are ears to detect it, then yes, it makes a sound.
no because a sound is only a sound if the air waves vibrate the bones in the ear.

Yes, the falling tree makes sound. Sound is mechanical energy. It's the compression and rarefaction of, in this case, air. The falling tree is converting potential (positional) energy into kinetic energy, and some of the kinetic energy is the mechanical energy of sound. The falling tree makes sound. The sound is there whether anyone is present to hear it or not. Anyone who believes anything differently 1) does not understand the question, 2) does not understand the terminology and the meaning of the words, or 3) is lost in philosophy.

And, if you wish to prove it, set up a recording device and place a timed explosive device around the tree. leave the area well before the explosion. Return after the explosion and if the recording device has not been destroyed (by placing it too close to the tree) you should be able to play back the recording, and if all went as planned, you should hear a loud thud shortly after a sharp explosion. Do NOT try to explain your reasoning behind this experiment to the authorities!
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What if a tree falls does it make a sound?

Yes of course, but your probably referring to "If a tree falls and nobody's around to hear it, does it make a sound" Well nobody can ever know for absolute certainty, but if we get scientific about it, then yes. Nobody has to be around to hear the noise it makes. It will make a sound, it won't just fall and be silent, it has to make a sound. Regardless of the fact that someone was there or not.

If a ninja falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it does it make a sound?

No, ninjas don't make make sounds anyway, but if it does, it's definitly the last sound you'll ever hear. Only Chuck Norris can know whether or not it makes a sound, and anyways he's the reason why the ninja fell in the first place.

If a tree falls down in the forest and nobody hears it did it make a noise?

no it does not make a noise, a noise is an unwanted sound, if it can not be heard then it is not unwanted, however it does make a sound. sound is a form of energy thus hen the tree's gravitational potential energy it converted into kinetic energy during the falling motion, as it hits the ground its energy will be partially transferred into the earth and partially into the particles in the air thus creating sound waves

If a tree falls in an empty forest and no one hears it does it make a sound?

some people may say yes and no but the scientific answer is no Yes, it does. It always does--doesn't matter if it is heard or not! Comment to Simplemary's answer: Absolutely correct.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound What is ONE possible argument someone would make to agree OR disagree that a sound is indeed made?

No, because a tree falls in the middle of the woods and there is no one around to hear it, so it can't make a sound! A sound is something you hear. It would make a noise . yes it does make a sound because if something falls it gives off sound waves. the sound waves move out further and further, but the sound waves stop after a while. just because you cant hear doesnt mean its not there......its like yelling at someone who is deaf with someone right beside you. the deaf person cant hear you but the person that's not deaf can hear you because your voice gives off sound waves!

If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to see or hear it do the other trees laugh at it?

no because trees cant laugh . -how does that person know trees can't laugh? Just because they've never seen it? I've never seen my husband do the dishes, but that doesn't mean he can't!

If a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it does it make a sound?

Yes, it makes a sound. Just because nobody is around to hear it doesn't mean it doesn't mean it won't make a sound. It will make a thump regardless of who is present.

If a tree falls on a Squirrel in the middle of the woods and nobody was around to hear it does it make a sound?

yes The squirrel heard it (a little too late) unless it was deaf ,and if it were then, No. Without any animals with ears around it didn't make a sound.

If a tree drops down in the middle of the forest and nobody is around to hear it does it make noise for someone to hear?

yes but you cant hear it i agree with this because the animals are still going to run away.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to see it do the other trees make fun of it?

\nAccording to recent sightings of undercover spies, trees do indeed "make fun of" other trees who fall in the forest. They do so by pointing their branches at it and shaking their trunk. They often encourage their inhabitants (squirrels etc..) to poop on it. Agent Dempley of Concordia University reported to have heard a willow tree "Bark" with laughter. \nhope this helps.

Can a tree make a sound if it falls and no one heres it?

no because a sound wave needs three things: \n1. vibrations (the tree falling)\n2. matter (air around it)\n3. receiver (someone to hear it)\n. \nwithout one of these there is no sound\nsince there is no one (aka a receiver) it does not make a sound

If a tree fell in the middle of the forest and no one was around to hear it does it make a noise?

Who knows? no on heard it... it could be that there were people around but the tree DIDN'T make a sound so no one heard it :)

If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it does it make sound partiles that travel at high speed causing the sound to vibrate in your ear?

Yeah, but I wouldn't say high speed. It depends on the size and weight of the tree in order to travel quickly.. Also, you must be in the radius of where the tree falls.

What sounds would you hear in a forest?

Twigs snapping Geese honk birds chirping footsteps wolf howling bees buzzing owl hooting mosquitoes around your ear duck quacking water flowing fish jumping dogs barking forgs croaking snakes slithering bears growling

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it still make noise?

Actaully this is a trick question the real answer is how do you know nobody is there to hear it. no it is not a trick question--- it is searching for the defionation of sound and not the reception of it other people also say either yes or no. yes:because when a tree falls vibrations are created and either if someone is around to hear it or not it will still make a noise. no:because even though a tree makes vibrations if no one is around to hear it but how do we know for sure it makes a knows.... if someone were to test this it would be incredible.

Who is the author of If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?

I don't know who the athour is but the answer is Yes it does make a sound because no matter if anyone is there or not the falling tree makes the same sound.

One tree does not make a forest?

When there are no trees to represent a forest, one tree does make a forest.

Does a falling star make a sound and is it possible to hear it as it burns out?

You know, I bet meteorites DO make sounds (inaudible to the unaided ear), and I wonder if we could learn something interesting about them or about the atmosphere by attempting to listen in. I like this question.

If a tree falls in the middle of a forest does it make a sound?

No because if no one is around to hear it the wave is not turned into a sound by the ear drum

If a leaf falls in the forest and no one hears it does it make a sound?

Yes. By definition, sound is: "mechanical vibrations transmitted throughan elastic medium" (dictionary.com). Noise doesn't need to beperceived to be defined as "sound" since it is a mechanical entity. However The existence of the sound cannot be categorically proven unlessheard (observed) or recorded, even though under the usual physicallaws, it would be expected to occur.

Does a tree falling and no one hears it does it make asound?

It all determines on your definition of sound the one i use is a sensation in your organs caused by vibrations. SO if there is no one there to pick up the vibrations than the tree falling never really turns into sound it is just a vibration.

If a tree falls in an empty forest who hears it fall?

The sound of a tree falling in an empty forest, doesn't exist, because sound is only sound if it is heard by something. A falling tree without someone hearing it fall, makes no sound.

If a tree falls down in the middle of a forest and no ones there to hear it does it make a sound?

yes, but nobody is around to hear it. I know it sounds stranger, but the answer is no, its not the tree hitting the ground that makes the sounds but the air it displaces, (a tree falling in a vacuum would make no sound). It's the ear and brain which convert these vibrations into sound. Hence no-one around, no sound. Strange but true.

If a tree falls and your not around to here it does it does it make a sound?

If You Are Not There To Hear It, You Wont, But If There Are People There, They Will Hear It(:

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

No because sound is something you hear and if nobody hears it, there is no sound.

If a tree falls down in a forest and nobodys around will it make a sound?

no because sound is something you hear and if nobody hears it there is no sound.

Do trees make sound when they fall?

There are many ways or reasons a tree can fall: . an old tree . a hollowed out tree . a diseased tree . an old, diseased, OR healthy tree hit by lightning . an old, diseased, OR healthy tree compromised by wind So, a tree can creak before falling or come down without priorcreaking. When it falls, words we most likely associate with thatsound are: thud, boom, crash, etc. The branches can hit branches onother trees as the tree falls; this can make a swishing, crunching,or knocking sound--or a little of each.

If a man falls in the forest and there's no tree around to hear him does he make a sound?

No. Sound is vibration, transmitted to our senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized as sound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or any other disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be no ears to hear, there will be no sound.

If a tree falls in a forest and nobody is around can you still hear it?

it depends, if you are talking about hearing it as the emission of sound waves then yes. a tree falling in a forest would make a sound but if you are talking about perception, there is no person to hear the sound. so the tree makes a sound but nobody hears it

Can you hear a tree fall in the forest?

If a tree falls in the forest, the hawk will see it and the deer will hear it. But the bear will smell it.

Which philosopher wrote if a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?

yes if a tree does fall in a forest it does make a sound because it is not a vacuum (where few or no particles are ; space) the air around it has matter and a medium so the compressions and rarefactions travel through a medium and create sound waves and the tree vibrates so the answer is yes if a tree falls in a forest it does make a sound.

Who said Does a tree still make a sound when it falls in a forest and no-one hears?

The short answer is, no one said this question as it is wordedabove. Below is the history of the similar question. The philosophical and perceptual psychological backgroundabout this question: Philosopher George Berkeley wrote A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge in1710. He wrote, in part, "But, say you, surely there is nothingeasier than for me to imagine trees, for instance, in a park [...]and nobody by to perceive them. [...] The objects of sense existonly when they are perceived; the trees therefore are in the garden[...] no longer than while there is somebody by to perceive them." "The objects of sense..." refers to objects or events that weperceive with the 5 senses--hearing, sight, smell, taste, touch.However, as a philosophy question, it raises the issue ofperception in philosophy: Does something still exist if we cannotperceive it with one of our senses. And, just what do weperceive... For twenty-years after Berkeley's writing, philosophers took up "consideration of the emergence of meaning" (quote from Wikipedia).In 1754, William Fossett paraphrased Berkeley's writing inFossett's writing, Natural States . However, itshould be noted neither of these philosophers actually stated thequote in question ("If a tree falls in a forest and no oneis around to hear it, does it make a sound"). Over 100 years later, in June 1883, a question was posed in The Chautauquan magazine, "If a tree were tofall on an island where there were no human beingswould there be any sound." [Italics and bold added]. This idea in 1700s-1800s was seminal work about the idea ofperception. It has lead to a host of similarly phrased questionsposed to students, first in Universities to philosophy andpsychology students, and then to high school students. The point isto generate thinking about problems of perception. Some similarly stated questions include: If a tree falls in the forest... [some people add other detailshere such as distance away] but no one HEARS it...does it make asound. If a leaf falls in the forest but no one is present to SEE it, doesthe leaf still fall, gathering with other leaves on the forestfloor. If you SMELL the strong fragrance of aftershave, but you see no onenearby, do you assume a man just passed by before you arrivedthere? If you experience the distinctive TASTE of onions in a casserolebut did not see anyone make or bake the food, can you be certainthe cook added fresh onions to it. If you put your hand into a hole in a closed box and you TOUCHsomething that feels cold and wet, can you assume it came from ablock of ice. (You can probably think of more of your own 'If'-perceptionquestions.) Each question of these questions seek to make us aware of howperception affects how we interpret and assign meaning to ordinaryevents and experiences--or, to experimental experiences scientistsor researchers create for us. It asks us to consider events andmeanings of events, even if we personally do not witness orexperience them, e.g. The tree no one heard still thudded; the leaf still detached fromthe tree without requiring our sight; aftershave is typicallyassociated with men, even if we missed seeing the man pass by; thefood might have contained onion salt versus chopped onions; andlastly, everything that is 'cold and wet' is not ice. Likewise, Blacks and women endured years of oppression... Eventshalfway around the world, like wars, take place even if we don'tsee the fighting.... Nazis killed millions of Jews in theHolocaust... Babies and children still die of starvation in somecountries... etc. A year after The Chautauquan magazine posited thequestion, magazine Scientific American took up the ongoing[until then strictly philosophical] debate in 1884, providing ascience explanation for sound, ""Sound is vibration, transmitted toour senses through the mechanism of the ear, and recognized assound only at our nerve centers. The falling of the tree or anyother disturbance will produce vibration of the air. If there be noears to hear, there will be no sound." (Scientific American).

If a tree fell down in the forest and no one heard it did it make a sound?

How would anyone know if no one heard it. Meezwa0721: The tree still makes a sound eventhough noone is around to hear it.

If a tree falls and no one is around to hear it dose it make a noise?

A question that can be answered by another, if your house burns down but no ones around to see it does it burn down?

If a big tree falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it does it make a sound?

It should. Put a video recorder there and you'll see. There are three aspects of this question. 1) Although physically, we can "assume" a sound will be created, there would have to be evidence of some sort to actually prove that it happened. 2) Although we define the vibrations the falling tree makes as "sound," its existence as sound would have to be perceived by humans, or by other animals. 3) Philosophically, the existence of the sound cannot be absolutely posited, but then neither can the existence of the tree itself unless it is perceived.

If a tree falls in the woods and no ones around to hear it would it still make a sound?

Yes. Sound is caused by vibrations. A falling tree will cause the same vibrations regardless of whether anyone is close enough to hear them or not.

If a tree falls and no one is around.?

A tree. A big one. Nice and tall, A great big trunk, thin branches, and green leaves. It lies in a forest. It falls down. Does it make a sound? The question is both yes and no. YES: 1. Most trees that fall in forests do make sounds. So we can safely assume any tree does, person or no person. 2. Even if there was no person around to hear it, some animal, like a bird or squirrel would probably hear it. 3. If a tree falls, it makes a vibration. The vibration creates a sound wave. The sound wave travels through the air. The air becomes a medium for the waves to travel through, creating a sound. So, scientifically, there would be a sound. 4. You could test this experimentally. If you knew the tree was going to fall, leave a tape recorder next to the tree. Then, run so far away you can't hear it. Run back, and play the sound back. You would hear a sound. Voila. NO: 1. The definition of a sound is something that you hear. If someone can't HEAR it, there is no sound. 2. You can't be so certain. Just because all trees we see fall make a sound, how can you tell for sure this one is? You never know what happens when you turn your back. 3. Maybe a sound is only a sound if a human hears it. Even if there is a bird who tweets, other birds may hear it, but until man hears it, sound doesn't exist. 4. Or, maybe... nothing in the universe can exist without being perceived. Anything past our observable universe we can't say for sure exists until someone finally perceives it. This goes for falling trees, too. Our knowledge of existence is completely dependent on the fact that we can perceive it. I mean, is it really logical to know something exists without perceiving it? Of course not. Nothing can exist without being perceived. So, the sky really is the limit. No perception = doesn't exist. Simply put, the question really depends on how you define a sound. Either it only exists if you can perceive it, or it exists because sound waves do. So, which one is it? Answer this first, and you will automatically have the answer to your first question.

If a tree falls in a forest and there is no one there to haul it away what happens to it?

The bear smells it and comes after the ants and termites that live in it. Then it deteriorates and goes back to the forest floor as food for other trees.

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

From the phrasing of the question the answer is Yes. Just because you do not see the tree fall does not mean that it does not make a sound. For instance if you are sitting in the forest and a tree falls behind you, you will hear it fall but not see it. Hence if the tree falls with no one watching it, it will still make a sound.. This is an old philosphers question and the basis of the idea in the film the matrix. But you could argue that its doesnt say that there is nobody IN the forest, just that they cant SEE it. Therefore a blindfolded man can hear it fall.

Does a tree make a sound when no one is around to hear it?

This question originated in the 1740's when a philosopher, by the name of Ottman, who came to the conclusion that it did not make any sound at all. However, in 2001, this question was put to the ultimate test by a professor of bio-horticultury who embedded microphones in the ground then planted a silver-birch and waited for it to grow over the period of 6 years. He then chopped it down remotely and the microphone did indeed record sound levels that you would expect from a newly planted silver-birch tree falling down. Therefore disproving Ottman's theory.

If a tree falls in a forest and no one was there to hear it did it really fall?

Well, yes, the tree really fell. Anyone could go to it and see that it was on the ground, and calculate that the tree had fallen at some point in time. The real question is, "If a tree fell in a forest, and there was no one there, would there be a sound?" Of course, the answer is, "yes", because sound is made of sound waves, and from the laws of physics and common experience, we know that a falling tree would make many sound waves. Don't let a philosopher tell you any different. Even though this is a traditional philosophical question. I agree with the above answer. Actually, the trick to this question is that you cannot answer it incorrectly. It is true that the tree made a sound, since a sound is, by definition, a wave produced by a vibration or rapidly expanding air, the former of which was produced by the tree's falling. It is also true that the tree did not make a sound, existentially speaking. Though the tree did fall, there was no one around to interpret the fact that a sound came from it, so it may as well not exist.

What does trees do not a forest make mean?

Trees do not make a forest alone, but with the forest life. Insects, fungi, flowers, birds, squirrels, etc. A forest depends on one and another like these living things depend on others and like how we depend on other people for our daily life.

Who said -if a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody around to hear it does it make a sound?

George Berkeley inspired it with his thought of esse est percipi (to be is to be perceived) although he never put the thought in terms of a tree falling and making a sound.

If a tree falls in the froest and no one is around to hear it does it make a sound?

No. If no one is there then it is only making vibrations. Someone has to be there to perceive the vibrations as sound.

If a tree falls down in the forest does anyone hear it?

no it does not make a sound because the tree is all the way in the forest and your home you can not hear it or it depends where you live if you live in the forest yes if not no.

When a tree falls and no one is around does it still make a sound?

Stupid Philosophical question about Physics OR Philosophical question that has nothing to do with physics Humm It will make the pressure waves in the air, but is that sound if no one who understands the significance is there to hear and appreciate. Opinion I think that as I will stub my toe on the fallen log the question is moot and there is a sound.

If a tree falls in the forest and no one hears it does make sound?

The answer is obvious. If a tree falls it will make a thump noise/sound whether or not someone hears it. So the answer is yes, it will make a sound. Another Perspective If a tree falls it will make pressure waves in the atmosphere. Pressure waves can be detected - put your fingers on a balloon in a noisy place and you can pick up the vibrations tingling your fingertips but you cannot interpret and classify them - your fingers are not experiencing sounds. Pressure waves are a thing of physics, but sounds are a thing of philosophy. Only your ears and your brain can receive pressure waves and then interpret those as sounds. Are all pressure waves heard by humans sounds? No, anything below 10 Hertz and over 20 kiloHertz cannot be heard. Those pressure waves exist, but are completely silent. A human can hear a limited range of pressure wave frequencies as sound. Only a human (and certain higher animals) can do this. When the tree falls, pressure waves in the atmosphere will happen, the balloon will vibrate, but the vibrations will be meaningless without someone to interpret them. So the answer is no, it will not make a sound.

Why is it said that a falling tree does not make a sound if no one hears it?

That is said because when things are broken by nature EVEN when no living thing that has the capability to hear things, then nothing is heard by anything. BUT, however that doesn't mean it's not going to make a noise.... Therefore the saying "A falling tree does not make a sound when nobody hears it" Is not true. If by some accidental reason I am incorrect, please forgive my mistake and I wish you the best in hopefully finding an answer that is correct.(Only do so if I am wrong but I do believe this is the answer because I know nothing of other beliefs of an answer.)Thank-you for your time in reading this.

Does a Tree make a noise when it falls over if there is no one there to hear it fall?

Yes because, the speed of sound has a mathematical equation that has been proven to be 100% accurate. Man doesn't have to be present in order for it to exist. Just like the speed of light has an actual calculation and so does the speed of sound. .

Do you think A tree falling when no one is there to here it doesn't make a sound?

Yes, it makes a sound. Sound doesn't come from hearing something, but from the result of something happening, created, or an event taking place.