English philosopher, and a proponent of Deism. He was born in Middlesex and educated at Eton before taking up law at the Middle Temple. he became a friend of the philosopher John Locke. In 1715 he moved to Essex and held the positions of Justice of the Peace and Deputy-Lieutenant. He was also a member of ther philosophical group known as freethinkers. His first notable work was his 'Essay concerning the Use of Reason in Propositions the Evidence whereof depends on Human Testimony' (1707), followed six years later by 'A Discourse of Freethinking, occasioned by the Rise and Growth of a Sect called Freethinkers' (1713), which was seen as a controversial argument in favour of Deism and elicited responses from the likes of Richard bentley and Jonathan Swift. In 1724 Collins published his 'Discourse of the Grounds and Reasons of the Christian Religion, with An Apology for Free Debate and Liberty of Writing' which cast into doubt the validity of Biblical revelations. This drew thirtyfive responses from various theologians and philosophers, and Collins replied by his 'Scheme of Literal Prophecy Considered' (1727).
In philosophy, Collins leads the defence of Necessarianism.. His assertion that it is self-evident that nothing that has a beginning can be without a cause was attacked in an elaborate treatise by Samuel Clarke. 'Vindication of the Divine Attributes' (1710); 'Priestcraft in Perfection' (1709) were oher examles of his work.
Collins became known as one of the best read men in England, amaasing a private library of some 6,906 books on all subjects, but particularly favoring works on history, theology, and philosophy. He died at his house in Harley Street, London.
City of Westminster
Greater London, England
Plot: churchyard, unmarked
Created by: Mark McManus
Record added: Dec 10, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16980665
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Added: Sep. 16, 2007