Collins, Anthony

Collins, Anthony, 1676–1729, English theologian; a friend of John Locke. He set forth the position of the deists and defended the cause of rational theology. His Discourse of Free Thinking (1713) was answered by many clergymen and was satirized by Jonathan Swift. His Philosophical Inquiry Concerning Human Liberty (1715) is an excellent presentation of the determinist position, the theory that all events are determined by prior causes.

See study by J. O'Higgins (1970).

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