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Hierarchy of Foreignness

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Demosthenes' Hierarchy of Foreignness is a means of classifying how "alien" an individual is relative to a subject. It is organised in five tiers:


Utlanning are individuals who are of the same species as the subject, and are from a different region, city, or country. Culture is similar, communication between subject and Utlanning is generally easy.


Framlings are individuals who are recognised as being of the same species as the subject, but who are from another planet. Culture and manners between Framlings may be different, but they are still similiar.


A raman is an individual recognised as a sentient being who is of another species, but with whom communication is possible. In Speaker for the Dead and Xenocide, the Piggies and the Buggers are identified as true raman although in the original bugger wars they were considered as Varelse by humans.


The varelse are true aliens: they are sentient beings, but are so foreign that no meaningful communication is possible with the subject. This does not mean war with Varelse is justified.


Djur are non-sapient beings. They are capable of independent thought and action, but their mode of communication cannot relay any meaningful information to the subject because the djur itself lacks the capacity for rational thought and self-awareness.

Non-human animals, who by definition, all have a central nervous system, can not be considered Djur as neuroscientists have proven their consciousness is so similar to human consciousness as to be nearly indistinguishable (see: non-human animals display rational thought (Golden Rule, self-survival, preservation of self, loved ones, and/or family) and self-awareness: one's inability or refusal in attempt to understand them or recognize the same body language is not an indicator of their intelligence, rational thought or self-awareness.

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