I'm rereading a sci-fi/fantasy novel called Hellspark. Writer Janet Kagan keeps talking about sapience, a word that I didn't know. In the Afterward, she said that she changed every instance of sentient in her manuscript to sapient.
So I looked the two words up.
It turns out that sentience means the ability to perceive individual experiences. Sapience means the ability to think and to reason.
Yes, I'm sentient, but so is my dog Lady. I'm also sapient; she's not. I'm sure that Lady would be happy to know that she's sentient ... if she were sapient.
Found in a book: Jean Lorrah, the author of The Vulcan Academy Murders, agrees with Kagan. In that book, Lorrah wrote:
Concentration was an art that Vulcans learned early, but concentration without results took its toll on any sapient being.
Links: On my web site, I have links to some of my stories online.
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