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The word sapience is derived from the Latin sapientia, meaning "wisdom". The corresponding verb sapere has the original meaning of "to taste", hence "to perceive, to discern" and "to know"; its present participle sapiens was chosen by Carl Linnaeus for the Latin binomial for the human species, Homo sapiens. It stems from Proto-Italic *sapiō, from Proto-Indo-European *sh₁p-i- (“to notice”), from Proto-Indo-European *seh₁p- (“to try, to research”). Cognate with Ancient Greek σοφός (sophós), Old English sefa (“mind, spirit, mood”).

"Sor Juana's correspondence to food and knowledge suggests that there is a relationship between sabor and saber (savoring and knowing)." --"[[The Making of Mexican Mole and Alimentary Theology in the Making]" by Angel F. Méndez Montoya

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Sapience, usually defined as wisdom or discernment, is the ability of an organism or entity to act with judgment. Judgment is a mental facility that is a particular form of intelligence or may be considered an additional facility, above intelligence, with its own properties. Robert Sternberg has segregated the capacity for judgment from ordinary meanings of intelligence, which is closer to the sense of clever than to wisdom. Good judgment in making decisions about complex life or social decisions is a hallmark of being wise.

The word sapience is derived from the Latin word for wisdom, sapientiae or sapientia. These are related to the verb sapere, which means 'to taste' but with the sense of tasting the meaning of life. It is generally interpreted in the English-speaking world as meaning to be wise, and the present participle forms part of Homo sapiens, the Latin binomial nomenclature created by Carolus Linnaeus to describe the human species. Linnaeus had originally given humans the species name of diurnis, meaning man of the day. But he later decided that the dominating feature of humans was wisdom, hence application of the name sapiens. Strangely, it seems that he did not consider the idea whether humans were just another kind of animal when choosing this name, instead basing his selection on contemporarily deep religious convictions that man was a product of special creation. Thus, his chosen biological name was intended to emphasize man's uniqueness and separation from the rest of the animal kingdom.

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