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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.

Library Data Referral Tree[edit]

Please refer to the following AAB Library Data for more information:

Term Etymology[edit]

Derived from the Terran Greek word Sophia, meaning wisdom.

Description (Specifications)[edit]

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.

Alternate Terminology[edit]

A number of other terms exist amongst the many sophont species of Charted Space for technology-using beings including:

Cycle of Life & Sophontic Civilization[edit]


  1. A-life
  2. Proto-Life (transitory stage)
  3. Creatures
  4. Proto-Sophonts (transitory stage)
  5. Sophonts
  6. Transcendents (transitory stage)
  7. Ascendants
  8. Singularity

History & Background (Dossier)[edit]

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.

Sophont Species Listing[edit]

Please see the following AAB article for a list of known sophont species: Races/summary.

Academic Sophont Sources[edit]

Some of the best guides to studying sophonts in Charted Space include:

References & Contributors (Sources)[edit]

This article was copied or excerpted from the following copyrighted sources and used under license from Far Future Enterprises or by permission of the author.