Sophonce in Ethnis | World Anvil


Sophonce is the measure of universal awareness of a being and its highest requisite on the needs pyramid. Each Tier includes and builds upon the properties of its predecessors. Each threshold represents an exponentially difficult divide between each pairing.


The Tiers are read bottom-to-top. They are organized by increasing complexity of intelligence and by the resulting personal needs of beings at that Tier. Beings towards the top are the most intelligent, but also have the most delicate balance of needs to maintain.


Each Threshold represents a significant change in behavior and increase in complexity. Beings may be able to Uplift to the next Tier above them, but overcoming a Threshold takes significant effort and resource.

Sociological Threshold

This threshold represents the advent of notable social behaviors.

Existential Threshold

This threshold represents the advent of notable existential behaviors and self-actualization.

Comprehensible Threshold

This threshold represents the limit to Sophonce as proposed by Sophontist Visser Ademal.



Sensorimotoric beings have no considerations above the physiological. Their existence is dictated entirely by the stimuli of the moment without reference to any moments which came before. The same stimuli always have the same result.

Physiological Needs: Consume, with little other regard and foresight.

Examples:Paramecium, scripted intelligence, Most plants.


Ideomotoric beings have the ability to learn from past stimuli and change their behavior as a result. They tend to plan and anticipate, and so will make shelter or stockpile resources based on environmental conditions.

Safety Needs: Prepare for future dangers from past experience.

Examples:Reptiles, simple mammals, most insects.

Sociological Threshold


Sentient beings demonstrate a social hierarchy and internal roles beyond internal alpha behavior and sticking together for mere safety. Members may be given roles based on their skills, and looked after even when they have no use. Members also form strong interpersonal bonds.

Love/Belonging Needs: There is safety and comfort in numbers.

Examples: Canines, Sazakraht, Monkeys


Sapient beings demonstrate the capacity for abstract thought which results in creativity and a sense of self. The mirror test is a good test of the latter in sight-based creatures such as primates. The former remains a topic of heated debate in many quarters.They can form long-term goals.

Esteem Needs: To make choices through the lens of personal morality.

Examples: Canines, Primates, Elephants, some Engines.

Existential Threshold


Sophont beings are capable of raising existential questions and of demonstrating self-aware psychological self-influence. They can make choices based off of projected long-term outcomes despite any negative stimuli trying to dissuade them from the act. They can live life in pursuit of a concept, and often do.

Self-Actualization Needs: To understand and shape the self.

Examples: Verin, Sazashi, Humans, some Engines, Foci


Sophilect beings have generally escaped the majority of the typical needs hierarchy. For them resources might be so ubiquitous that they do not consider physiological need, their power so great that they do not consider safety, their sense of self so complete that they sate their own needs for love, belonging, esteem, and self actualization. They can instead turn their attentions outwards, to the perpetuation of their actualization by passing it onto others or serving it with fervor. A sophilect cannot surprise itself.

Broad Actualization Needs: The total ideological understanding and furthering of the self beyond mere urge of reproduction.

Examples: Anthem, the Inspirations, the Sovereign.

Comprehensible Threshold


In her original Classifications of Being, Sophontist Vissir Ademal concluded with Sophilect. She stated that she was unsure if even Sophilect warranted its own class. Since her work has entered the larger sphere there has been a general insistence on the existence of Sopholith, and a push for a classification beyond what has been dubbed the Ademalian Threshold. Sopholiths are theoreticals which have considerations unfathomable even by Sophilects.

Unknown Needs

Examples (Theorized): The Wheel, God, Allah

Thresholds by Trait

Animate Threshold

  • Organismic State: Metabolism, Growth, Reaction to Stimuli, Reproduction. (Rock Bottom. Everything before this is inanimate)
  • Genetic Programming: The native desire of a living thing to preserve and duplicate its own genes to continue the existence of organisms with that sequence of genes.
  • Danger Recognition: Recognizing a threat to one's life and removing or removing one's self from that threat.
  • Sense of Species: An organism's pseudo-awareness of its own genetic makeup and an uncalculated loyalty to it and all members of that genetic makeup. The ability to determine if another organism is similar and capable of exchanging genes.
  • Desire: Exhibiting a feeling of want for something, or a state of one or one's environment, in such that it stimulates that organism to attempt to achieve it.
  • Memory: The ability to think about and visualize past experiences to a degree relative to an organism’s intelligence and capacity.
  • Identifying Difference: The ability to identify non-abstract differences, such as the difference between a fish and a bird.
  • Fully developed senses: Having a developed combination of sensors to stimuli, such as touch, sound, smell, taste, and sight.

Sociological Threshold

  • Empathetic Desire: Exhibiting a feeling for another organism for the purposes of the welfare of that organism, or the utility of that organism for one's own welfare, or the welfare of one's species.
  • Identifying Advanced Differences: The ability to identify and think about differences between objects on a conceptual level, such as the colors of a shirt or the emotions between a happy and sad person.
  • Morality: An instinctual set of rules within an organism to follow based off of their desires and empathetic desires.
  • Symbolic Language: Recognizing sights, sounds, or other stimuli and connecting that stimuli as a symbol for something else.
  • Minor Self-Awareness: The realization that one is alive, and there is a difference between being alive and being dead.

Existential Threshold

  • Meta-Thinking: Thinking about thinking. Awareness of one's thoughts.
  • Free Will: The acquired illusory ability to act against instinct or desire or in constraint according to one's environment. The power to have a desire contrary to biological programming and not contrary to the imperfections of said programming.
  • Heightened Self-Awareness: The realization that one is alive, and also the ability to conceptualize this state of existence and determine how it differs to not existing, or existing as another organism.
  • Intellectual Shame: Wearing Clothes, Hiding imperfections.
  • Recursive Thinking: The ability to ask one's self what they are thinking, Cartesian Truth.
  • Understanding Abstract Thought.
  • Cognitive Therapy: Evaluating emotions, then attempting to alter one's emotions by manipulating thoughts.
  • Intellectual Morality: The awareness of one's instinctual set of rules for desire and the ability to go about changing those rules or acting in contrast to them, developing a new definition for those rules.
  • Distinguishing reasons and causes.
  • Understanding Metaphor.
  • Questioning life.
  • Written Language: Self invented or totally understood on a conceptual level.
  • A sense of beauty and art.
  • Desire for Spirituality.
  • Cognitive dissonance: Capability of holding multiple thoughts and opinions at once

Cover image: Sophonce by Ademal


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Jan 19, 2019 04:53 by Lyraine Alei

I really like this page, as it really clearly defines the terms they describe as well as provide mostly recognizable, or described with context, examples.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Jan 24, 2019 17:04 by Ademal

Thank you!

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
Dec 14, 2019 00:56

Veeery interesting...

Dec 28, 2020 11:27

Interesting. I notice you have God/Allah as examples. Where would you rank the Buddha or Jesus?

Dec 29, 2020 08:53 by Ademal

Really depends on the depiction of them I'm going by. Going by their depiction as enlightened mortals, they would be Sophilects, I'd say.   If we're going with Jesus as a manifestation of God, and ergo still omniscient, then that probably still counts as higher than Sophilect.

CSS Whisperer • Community Admin • Author of Ethnis
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