Wednesday, July 09, 2008
A word I hate
I hate the word "sentient." Though, to be honest, it's not so much the word I hate as the way it's used. "Sentient" is often used to describe beings that possess intelligence, reason, intellect &c. But "sentient" is derived from the Latin sentire, which means "to feel." "Sentient" can still be found in modern dictionaries defined as "having sense perception" and "experiencing sensation or feeling." A better word for a being possessing intellect would be "sapient," i.e. a being that possesses or is capable of possessing wisdom. Wisdom is knowledge of the highest and most universal cause and it is the intellect that allows one to know the universal. Sense perception only allows one to know the particular.