There is a lengthy tradition in philosophy, religion, psychology, and cognitive science about what constitutes a mind and what are its distinguishing properties.
One open question regarding the nature of the mind is the mind–body problem, which investigates the relation of the mind to the physical brain and nervous system.
For example, whether mind is exclusive to humans, possessed also by some or all animals, by all living things, whether it is a strictly definable characteristic at all, or whether mind can also be a property of some types of human-made machines.
Whatever its nature, it is generally agreed that mind is that which enables a being to have subjective awareness and intentionality towards their environment, to perceive and respond to stimuli with some kind of agency, and to have consciousness, including thinking and feeling.
The concept of mind is understood in many different ways by many different cultural and religious traditions.
Psychologists such as Freud and James, and computer scientists such as Turing and Putnam developed influential theories about the nature of the mind.
The possibility of non-human minds is explored in the field of artificial intelligence, which works closely in relation with cybernetics and information theory to understand the ways in which information processing by nonbiological machines is comparable or different to mental phenomena in the human mind., meaning "to think, remember", whence also Latin mens "mind", Sanskrit manas "mind" and Greek μένος "mind, courage, anger".
The generalization of mind to include all mental faculties, thought, volition, feeling and memory, gradually develops over the 14th and 15th centuries.
In this view the emotions — love, hate, fear, and joy — are more primitive or subjective in nature and should be seen as different from the mind as such.
Others argue that various rational and emotional states cannot be so separated, that they are of the same nature and origin, and should therefore be considered all part of it as mind.