In the 17th Century, the French Philosopher Descartes formulated a notion of thought, which is the essence of the mind or cogito. Cartesian thinking includes the mental activity involved in reasoning, sensing, and willing or deciding. "Cognition" in cognitive science often has a similar breadth. The term is often used as inclusive of memory, problem solving, learning, perceiving, and other intelligent processes. From Descartes onward, cognition has been sharply distinguished from feeling or emoting. The relation between thought and emotion is currently a matter of debate.

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