A Philosophical Inquiry concerning Human Liberty […] — London 1717450 €
A Philosophical Inquiry concerning Human Liberty. The second Edition corrected. — London, Printed for R. Robinson, 1717.
8vo. (1) leaf (title), vi p. (Preface), (2) p. (Contents), 118 p. Contemporary red full morocco, gilt borders, gilt edges of covers, corners bumped, faded richly gilt spine, all edges gilt. Minor foxing. Old catalogue cutting pasted on first endpaper. The first edition was also published in 1717.
¶ Anthony Collins (1676-1719), deist, freethinker, follower and friend of Locke. The book is said to be a “powerful statement of the doctrine of necessitarianism” (Enc. of Philos. II, 144). And “is his last strictly philosophical work, in which he unites the psychic determinism of Locke with the metaphysical determinism of Hobbes and Spinoza. The work was widely praised by Voltaire, Priestley (who reprinted it in 1790) and the French materialists” (Dict. of 18th c British Philosophers). See also Israel, Radical Enlightenment, p. 614ff.: “Collins was a philosophical necessitarian and radical Bible critic who firmly believed great benefits would accrue to society from the new freedom to philosophize … But was all this freedom and intellecual progress worth the disillusionment and disruption?”