How are the tags for intelligence and sapience different? Should this be clarified or merged?

  • $\begingroup$ I vote to merge. $\endgroup$
    – kingledion
    Commented Dec 21, 2016 at 20:29

1 Answer 1


The way I understand it, the difference is that sense of "I".

"Sapience," noun of sapient, is the ability to think, and to reason. It may not seem like much a difference, but the ability to reason is tied more closely to sapience than to sentience. Most animals are sentient, (yes, you can correctly say your dog is sentient!) but only humans are sapient.

Source: http://www.rebekkahniles.com/2012/03/word-box-sapience-vs-sentience.html

There are lots of really intelligent animals, but so far as we know, humans are the only sapient species.

Intelligence and Sentience are probably the same thing, or close enough that they could be combined under one tag.

  • $\begingroup$ But some animals think and reason: they solve puzzles, apply logical principles. What you wrote doesn't match your first sentence. Are you leaving some other assumptions or definitions unsaid? $\endgroup$
    – JDługosz
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 3:40
  • $\begingroup$ @JDługosz probably. I'm not a philosopher. My point is that there's a difference. I'll think about it some more. $\endgroup$
    – AndyD273
    Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 10:58
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Sentience is the capacity to feel and perceive through the senses, unrelated to both sapience and intelligence. In fact, the word sentient was coined by philosophers to differentiate intelligence from perception (according to wikipedia). $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 25, 2016 at 17:23
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is the part where someone then asks about a possible tag for sophonce, w.r.t. meta-cognition, right? ;-) $\endgroup$ Commented Jul 24, 2016 at 22:12

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