Great attention has always been paid to determinism in the philosophy of Anthony Collins and important thinkers have been drawn to his Inquiry on Liberty: Priestley, Voltaire, D’Holbach, to name just a few. Even in modern times, determinism is one of the most investigated aspects of his thinking. However, neither today nor in the past has this attention led to a clarification of the scope of this determinism. Was it causal, moral, mechanistic or logical in kind? Such a clarification does not merely provide a nominal definition but also a better understanding of Collins’ entire philosophy. The article analyzes the relationship between Collins and those English thinkers, like Locke, Clarke and Hobbes, who have always been identified as the main sources of his philosophy. It also looks at continental thinkers who were never much considered by scholars, such as Leibniz, Bayle and finally Spinoza, who came to Collins mainly through the filter of Bayle and Leibniz. The analysis leads the Author to argue that the determinism advocated by Collins is a kind of necessitarianism very close to that of Spinoza, namely a logical determinism or, as Leibniz called it, a metaphysical determinism.
Keywords: Collins, determinism, Spinoza, Bayle