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Anthony Collins

Anthony Collins

Isleworth (Middlesex) 1676 - London 1729

Anthony Collins - whose main works include An Essay Concerning the Use of Reason in Propositions (1707), A Discourse of Free-Thinking (1713), and A Discourse Concerning the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion (1724) - was a leading exponent of the 'Radical Enlightenment', a philosophical necessitarian, and a renowned bibliophile. When he died his library - the third largest private library in Britain - contained more than 10,000 titles. By identifying and analyzing the significant connections between Collins the prolific writer and Collins the untiring reader, it is possible to chart his brilliant and irreverent use of the weighty traditions of 'orthodox' thought, his direct involvement in an uncompromising journalistic campaign to moralize political life and his unflagging denunciation of the abuse of popular credulity by the ecclesiastical authorities.

Bibliography: J. O'Higgins, Anthony Collins: The Man and His Works, The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff 1970; P. Taranto, Du déisme à l'athéisme: la libre pensée d'Anthony Collins, Paris, Champion 2000; G. Tarantino, Lo scrittoio di Anthony Collins (1676-1729): i libri e i tempi di un libero pensatore, Milano, Franco Angeli 2007; D. Lucci, Scripture and Deism. The Biblical Criticism of the Eighteenth-Century British Deists, Bern-New York, Peter Lang 2008; J.R. Wigelsworth, Deism in Enlightenment England: Theology, Politics, and Newtonian Public Science, Manchester, Manchester University Press 2008; W. Hudson, The English Deists: Studies in Early Enlightenment, London, Pickering & Chatto 2008.

For more information on Collins' library see the attached preface.

Bibliotheca Collinsiana, seu Catalogus Librorum Antonji Collins Armigeri ordine alphabetico digestus in Giovanni Tarantino, Lo scrittoio di Anthony Collins (1676-1729). I libri e i tempi di un libero pensatore, Milano, Franco Angeli 2007

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Giovanni Tarantino (University of Western Australia)
last modify: 2017-10-03 12:11:37