SOPHONT: A generalized term for an intelligent lifeform and technology-using being [Native Intelligent Life (NIL)] or Sapient, including humans as well as intelligent aliens, that have a significant interstellar presence within Charted Space.
- The number of sophonts which have been contacted is quite high; the Imperium boasts more than a hundred; Charted Space boasts more than four hundred.
- Tools are used to adapt, change, or control an environment. Tool-using cultures are groups of beings (not necessarily sophonts) with the ability to find or make tools.
- But, using tools is not enough: Technology is the ability to use tools to make other tools. Only when societies make the leap to using tools to make tools do they become technological.
- Technology builds on the successes of earlier tool-making experiences, and enables a progression to ever-higher levels.
Please see the following AAB articles for related data:
- Charted Space
Derived from the Terran Greek word Sophia, meaning wisdom.
A Sophont is a member of a species (race) generally recognized as sapient that has achieved a presence on an interstellar scale.
- Sophonts are consistently described with a long name in the format “the [race name] of [homeworld]”. For example, the Llellewyoly of Junidy.
- Higher Ensouled Being
- Highly Intelligent Being
- HILF (higher intelligent life form)
- True Artificial Intelligence
History & Background (Dossier)
Remarks: Any intelligent species. Sophont is preferred to Sapient, although the two terms are roughly synonymous. The IISS assumes a vague hierarchy in which sapient is inferior to sophont (roughly, sapients as a species have not left their homeworld, and sophonts are present in interstellar society).
- Sentient technically means “feeling” and should not be used to describe an intelligent species.
- Sophont encompasses all intelligent species.
- The study of sophonts or intelligent life forms is sophontology; some older IISS materials used xenology, or even xenoanthropology, but sophontology is preferred.
Cycle of Life & Civilization
- A-life → Proto-Life → Creatures → Proto-Sophonts → Sophonts → Ascendants → Transcendents → Singularity
- Proto-Life (transitory stage)
- Proto-Sophonts (transitory stage)
- Ascendants (transitory stage)
Academic Sophont Sources
Some of the best guides to studying sophonts in Charted Space include:
Sophont Species Listing
- Frank Chadwick, John Harshman, J. Andrew Keith, Marc Miller, Loren Wiseman. The Traveller Adventure (Game Designers Workshop, 1983), 144.
- Periodical: MegaTraveller Travellers' Digest No. 6 in article: 'Persons and Unpersons: What constitutes Intelligence'
- Periodical: Stellar Reaches 22
- Novel: Traveller 5th Edition Agent of the Imperium
- EXTERNAL LINK: Citations for Sophont
- Traveller Wiki Editorial Team
- Author & Contributor: Lord (Marquis) and Master of Sophontology Maksim-Smelchak of the Ministry of Science