1596 31 March: born at La Haye near Tours

1606-14 Attends Jesuit college of La Fleche in Anjou

1616 Doctor of law at University of Poitiers

1618 Travels toHolland. Joins the army of Prince Maurice of Nassau

1619 Travels in Germany

1622 Returns to France

1628 Rules for the Direction of Mind (First published in 1701);

1628 After confrontation with Chandoux, who claimed that science is based on probability while Descartes claimed that only certainty could be the basis of human knowledge and that he had a method for attaining certainty. Descartes was encouraged by Cardinal Berulle to develop his system.

1628 Travels to Holland where he stays until 1649

1633 Condemnation of Galileo dissuades him of publishing "The World"

1637 Publishes Discourse on Method, with Optics, Meterology and the Geometry

1641 Meditations on First Philosophy published together with the first six sets of Objections and Replies

1642 Second edition of the Meditations published with all seven sets of objections and replies.

1643 Cartesian philosophy condemned at the University of Utrecht.

1644 Visits France: "The Principles of Philosophy" published.

1647 He is awarded a pension by the King of France; Publishes "Comments on a Certain Broadsheet"; begins "The Description of the Human Body".

1649 Travels to Sweden on invitation of Queen Christina; publiishes "the Passions of the Soul".

1650 11 February: dies in Stockholm