Posing the Question
If a tree falls in a forest, and nobody is there to hear it, does it make a sound?
This perplexing question has occupied the minds of many philosophers for centuries. If no ones eyes or ears are available to perceive objects, do they still exist? While humans have expanded their reach to almost all corners of the globe, there are still dense forests and barren deserts where the footprints of humankind do not tread often and have not left well-worn beaten pathways.
nd British empiricist Bishop George Berkeley (16851753), held the motto “To be is to be perceived” or in Latin,“Esse est Percipi”.The doctrine revolves around the ideas of “idealism” (everything that exists is mind dependent, and the objects of knowledge are in someway dependent on the activity of the mind) and “immaterialism” (matter has no objective existence). He believed knowledge comes from perception, so therefore the world consists of ideas and perceiving minds. He wrote in The Principles of Human Knowledge, “It is evident to anyone who takes a survey of the objects of the human knowledge, that they are either ideas actually imprinted on the senses; or else such as perceived by attending to the passions and operations of the mind; or lastly, ideas formed by the help of memory and imagination- either compounding, dividing or barely representing those originally perceived in the aforesaid ways.” As Berkeley’s catchphrase was “Esse est Percipi”, if a tree was falling in a forest without any eyes to observe the fall, nor a mind available to perceive the action, then surely he would have believed it would not make a sound? Perhaps some of Berkeley’s ideas seems absurd to us today, but strangely the answer