Spinoza's ethics, On the God, Proposition 8, Scholium 2:

ut satis attendenti sit manifestum

4 translations of this sentence:

  1. White:

    as is evident to any one who pays a little attention

  2. Shirley:

    as is obvious to anyone who gives his mind to it

  3. Boyle:

    as will be manifest to any one who regards it carefully

  4. Elwes:

    a little consideration will make this plain

They render sit to is or will and I can't understand why and where its subjunctive sense is.

Moreover, the literal meaning of satis is sufficient or sufficiently and regarding to satis is not ablative, it likely must be adverb. But none of them translate it sufficiently or adequately or similar.

4 Answers 4


Pretty much everything put forward in other answers is correct in its way. I'm just a bit surprised that none has rendered the subjunctive by 'would', as in:

As would be obvious to anyone attentive enough


It's subjunctive because it is hypothetical. It is not a particular person paying attention: there might not be anybody paying attention at all. But if somebody pays sufficient attention, then it will be obvious to them.

I'm not certain about satis, but I would take it as an adverb.


The translations are not literal, but they convey the message well. The adverb satis modifies the participle attendens, leading to "someone who pays enough attention". Shirley and Boyle get the nuance, whereas the other two translate satis in a weaker form. In this context satis means essentially the same as "carefully" — but not if some other kind of word was modified.

There is no specific person who pays attention. Latin often uses conjunctive when referring to an indefinite person. If you want, you can read it as a conditional: "in case anyone is paying enough attention, it will be clear to them".

The conjunctive also finds its way to indefinite relative clauses. For example:

Sunt qui sic dicant.
There are people who say so. (But I won't or can't name any!)

I doubt that Spinoza meant sit to be a wish or a potential conjunctive. And the translators all agree: it is translated as a factual statement. Using "will be" instead of "is" is just a matter of idiomatic English in my opinion.

Here is a more literal translation (which is worse English):

ut satis attendenti sit manifestum
as is clear to anyone who pays enough attention


In my version it was wrote sit.
Today I saw other versions have recorded it fit.
By fit the meaning is understandable. The origin of fault is that s is wrote very similarly to f in Latin manuscripts.

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