On 11/6/2012 8:29 AM, Bruno Marchal wrote:
On 05 Nov 2012, at 17:10, Stephen P. King wrote:
On 11/5/2012 10:35 AM, Roger Clough wrote:
The logician in me would say "no!" Because a sound is something
that must be capable of being heard to exist. If no one is truly
around, then the noise that the tree might make cannot be heard and
thus there is not a sound.
Hi Stephen P. King
Infallibility isn't involved. The typical textbook
explanation for realism is, "if a tree falls in a
forest and nobody is there to hear it, would it
make a sound?"
A realist (such as me) would say "yes."
This is ambiguous.
Either by sound you mean the subjective feeling that a human can get
when a tree falls. Then it is reasonable to assume the necessity of a
human in the forest to say that there is a sound (although it is a bit
impolite for the other animals in the forest).
Or you mean by sound the air vibration, then it is reasonable to
suppose, locally, that the virbation can exist, even without human,
nor animals, in the forest.
You are dazzled by the hypotheticals, revealing that you do take
the possibility of an observer to exist even when none is stipulated to
exist, thus fall into the trap. Stop doing that. You yourself make a big
deal of the need for exactness and soundness of theories and yet don't
stop to think: What am I assuming unconsciously about how it is that
there is even a theory?
If a theory X asks us to eliminate the possibility of a physical
world, then that theory must be taken at face value. Nothing in X can
have anything to do with physical attributes and thus, actions vanish
from it. It ceases to even be a theory.
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