what is sentient?

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TerresaWiggin
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what is sentient?

Postby TerresaWiggin » Wed Mar 06, 2013 8:07 pm

I have started wondering, the dictionary definition of sentient is

1
: responsive to or conscious of sense impressions <sentient beings>
2
: aware
3
: finely sensitive in perception or feeling

(Merriam-Webster dictionary)

However when defining a species, while Demosthenes hierarchy of Foreignness is used to determine if sentient species are Ramon of Varelse, how do define what species are sentient to begin with?

the sentient species in the books are the hive queens, the pequeninos, the hive queens, and the descoladores. There was also some discussion of the possibility of the descolada itself being sentient.

So how do you think we should define a sentient species given the known and considered species in the books?
Last edited by TerresaWiggin on Thu Mar 07, 2013 12:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: what is sentinent?

Postby KennEnder » Wed Mar 06, 2013 10:37 pm

OH... sentient... the title of the thread is apparently misspelled. :( I think you can change that though.

I think, as far as "how we can define sentient" goes, though... I'd say "any being that is clearly aware of itself and able to ask questions concerning its existence."
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Re: what is sentient?

Postby Sharpe » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:37 pm

I think you may have found a philosophical gap in the Hierarchy. I would assume that sentient would be assumed if a species can communicate. However that was exactly the problem with the Buggers in the first place. Although I'm having vague recollections that someone at some point says that it is acceptable to assume that a species is Varelse rather than Raman if you can't communicate and it tries to kill you.

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Re: what is sentient?

Postby dpito » Tue Mar 12, 2013 1:54 am

Have you all not seen the ST: TNG episode where Data's sentience is determined in court. I am having trouble linking the episode, But it's the ninth episode from season 2. It's somewhat lawyerly, but I am a former attorney, so I like it. Anyway, if I recall the sequence of the burden of proof in this episode, sentience requires: 1) A sensory awarness of the events occuring around you. 2) An awareness of the consequences of your interactions within the context of your sensory perception. Now I'm going to piss the rest of you off: 3) Conciousness. This is unprovable from a Descartian standpoint. "I think, therefore I am." If one cannot put oneself entirely inside the mind of another, one can neither prove or disprove sentience.

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Re: what is sentient?

Postby particiaborsage » Mon Apr 08, 2013 5:33 am

From the definitions looks like its an adjective for someone who is sharply sensitive enough to sense the slightest change in perception. I didn't ahppen to read it somewhere but new vocabulary word brought me here.


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