If a tree falls….

And nothing is there to hear it, does it make a sound?

This was the question from my philosophy professor.

This is my answer:

If a tree falls and there is nothing to hear it than the tree could not have fallen at all. A tree is dependent on the environment in which it lives. Furthermore, say there was only a lone tree in a void of space free of any other environment; the tree will not make sound because it has nothing to fall into. Theoretically though, if a tree were to be traveling at an enormously fast speed through a place like outer space which is relatively empty in certain parts, then it could, in fact, make a wind strong enough to created sound waves but it can not fall without gravity to pull it down and as we know gravity and space aren’t exactly best buds. Also, a tree cannot live nor die in “nothingness,” so the answer is no. If a tree falls and there is nothing around to hear it, than there can be no tree and no tree makes no sound. Name somewhere where only trees live and consequently die then fall. Also, the question is flawed because it objectifies “nothing.” “Nothing” is not an object, because then it would be something and not “nothing.” So, nothing is simply lack of something and as we have learned there is no place where “nothing” is something. Except maybe a black hole but that is a whole other topic.

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