1891 Born on May 18, Ronsdorf, Germany. After his father's death in 1898, his family moved to Barmen, where Carnap studied at the Gymnasium.
1910-1914 Studied philosophy, physics and mathematics at the University of Jena and later at Freiburg. Studied Kantian philosophy with one of his teachers, the neo-Kantian philosopher Bruno Bauch. Carnap attended Gottlob Frege's lectures on logic in 1910 (Frege was professor of mathematics at Jena) and then a second course with Frege in 1913, and a third course in 1914.
1914 World War I "an incomprehensible catastrophe." The professor supervising his physics dissertation was killed early in the war; Carnap himself served at the front until 1917, when he was removed to Berlin.
1919 After the war Carnap sketched a dissertation on an axiomatic system for the physical theory of space and time, which he sent to both Max Wien, director of the Institute of Physics at the University of Jena, and to Bruno Bauch. Wien told Carnap the dissertation was pertinent to philosophy, not to physics, while Bauch said it was relevant to physics. Eventually, in 1921, Carnap wrote a philosophy dissertation under the direction of Bauch. His work, Der Raum (The Space) was published in 1922 in a supplemental issue of Kant-Studien.
1926 After meeting Moritz Schlick in 1923 (through Hans Reichenbach) and visiting the Vienna Circle (1925), Carnap became assistant professor at the University of Vienna. He soon became one of the leading members of the Circle and logical positivism. In 1929, he wrote the Circles manifesto with Hans Hahn and Otto Neurath. The Circle sought to "divorce science from metaphysics and to wed it instead to rigorous logic."
1928 Carnap published The Logical Structure of the World, and then Pseudoproblems in Philosophy, in which he asserted that many alleged philosophical problems are meaningless.
1930 Carnap and Reichenbach founded the journal Erkenntnis (Knowledge).
1931 Carnap became professor of natural philosophy at the German University, in Prague. Wrote The Logical Syntax of Language (1934). In 1935, due to Hitler becaming Chancellor of Germany (1933), Carnap moved to the United States, with the help of Charles Morris and Willard Van Orman Quine. He became American citizen in 1941.
1936-1952 Professor at the University of Chicago (during 1940-41 he was a visiting professor at Harvard University). Became interested in semantics, writing several books: Introduction to Semantics (1942), Formalization of Logic (1943), Meaning and Necessity: A Study in Semantics and Modal Logic (1947). Also wrote on formal logic and inductive logic.
1952-54 Professor at the Institute of Advanced Study at Princeton. 1954, professor at UCLA.
1970 Carnap was working on inductive logic when he died on September 14 at Santa Monica, California.