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.
Back to index.