- 1605: Francis Bacon (1561-1626) publishes Advancement of Learning.
- 1637: Rene Descartes publishes his Discourse on Method, in which he lays the foundation for modern philosophy.
- 1644-9: Pierre Gassendi (1592-1655), in a series of works, revives the traditions of Epicureanism and Skepticism.
- 1690: John Locke (1632-1704) publishes his Essay Concerning Human Understanding , which lays the foundation for the empirical school of philosophy, and his Second Treatise on Government, which is the basis for liberalism.
- 1682-1718: Karl XII, King of Sweden
- 1740-1785: Frederick the Great of Prussia
- 1748: Montesquieu (1689-1755) publishes his Spirit of the Laws.
- 1751: The first volume of the Encyclopedie is published.
- 1759: Voltaire (1694-1778) publishes Candide.
- 1762: Rousseau (1712-1778) publishes both Emile and The Social Contract.
- 1764: Cesare Beccaria publishes his Essays on Crimes and Punishments.
- 1776: Adam Smith (1723-1790) publishes The Wealth of Nations.
- 1782: Immanuel Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
- 1789: Antoine Lavoisier publishes his treatise on chemistry, laying the foundation for the modern theory of chemical elements.
- 1795: Condorcet (1743-1794)publishes Progess of the Human Mind.