Born on March 31st, 1596, to Jeanne Brochard and Joachim Descartes, in La Haye en Touraine (which today is Descartes, France). His mother died a year later, and his father sent him and his two siblings to live with his maternal grandmother.
Rene Descartes gets sent to boarding school
At age 8, Descartes was sent to a boarding school at Jesuit College Royal Henry-Le-Grand at La Fleche, where he studied rhetoric, logic, the “mathematical arts” (music and astronomy), metaphysics, natural philosophy and ethics.
Graduates from the University of Poitiers
He later attended the University of Poitiers to pursue law and added theology and medicine to his studies and then enlisted in the military school at Breda.
Joined the Bavarian Army
In 1618, Descartes was placed in the defense force of Maurice of Nassau in the Dutch Republic. There, he learned mathematics in his spare time. He also met the Dutch scientist and philosopher Isaac Beeckman, who became an influential teacher, but the two parted ways in 1630 because Descartes charged Beeckman with plagiarizing his ideas.
“Rules for the Direction of the Mind”
In 1622, he came back to France and wrote his first essay, “Rules for the Direction of the Mind"
Enrolls in University of Frank
1628 Descartes moved to the Dutch Republic and enrolled in the University of Franeker and the Leiden University to study mathematics some more.
During his 20 years in the Dutch Republic, he published many works on philosophy and mathematics, such as “Principal of Philosophy” and “Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conducting the Reason and Seeking Truth in the Sciences," which was published in 1637.
Descartes undergoes reproach
In 1643, Cartesian philosophy faced criticism at the University of Utrecht.
"Passions of the Soul"
He corresponded with Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia and compiled his writings on psychology and morality in “Passions of the Soul” and dedicated it to her.