Sapience level is a scale used here at FicSpecies to measure the extent of a species' perceptive and cognitive abilities, and whether they are self-aware and conscious "persons".


  • Insentient: is not able to perceive its surroundings; comparable to real-world plants, fungi and microbes.
  • Non-sapient: is able to perceive and instinctually respond to its surroundings, but lacks any signs of developed consciousness or self-awareness; comparable to real-world (non-human) animals. Often, non-sapient species will be referred to as "creatures" or "beasts".
  • Semi-sapient: has some level of consciousness above simple perception and instinctual behaviour, may use simple tools and be able to communicate through some type of "language", but does not possess the level of consciousness generally indicative of "personhood". (Arguably, some real-world animals, such as chimpanzees, may fall into this category.)
  • Sapient: is fully conscious, self-aware and intelligent, and may have a developed culture or civilization; comparable to real-world humans. Intelligent species in fiction are generally referred to as "races" or "peoples".
  • Varying sapience: sentience level varies greatly between individuals of the species, or between different depictions of the species; while some are sapient "persons", others are non- or semi-sapient "creatures".
  • Group sapience: while individual members are not self-aware individuals, several members of the species together form a single consciousness/intelligence; often referred to as a "hivemind."
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