Spinoza, Ethics, De Deo, Propositio 15, Scholium:

Exempli gratia aquam quatenus aqua est, dividi concipimus ejusque partes ab invicem separari; at non quatenus substantia est corporea; eatenus enim neque separatur neque dividitur.

Boyle translation:

E.g., we can conceive water, in so far as it is water, to be divided and its parts separated one from the other: but not in so far as it is a corporeal substance, for then it is neither separated nor divided

Elwes translation:

For instance, water, in so far as it is water, we conceive to be divided, and its parts to be separated one from the other; but not in so far as it is extended substance; from this point of view it is neither separated nor divisible

I have two questions.

1- Translations are so as if the text is:

at non quatenus est substantia corporea


2- If eatenus means so far, why are translation otherwise?


2 Answers 2


1 - I don't think Latin makes much of a distinction between substantia est corporea and est substantia corporea. In either case, I think you'll need to rely on context to determine which English translation to use.

2 - Eatenus is the correlative to quatenus. Both translations use "insofar as" to translate quatenus. It seems to me that there is nothing wrong with Boyle using "then" as a correlative for "insofar as", although better correlatives could be found (and I think the one you found is better). Elwes' choice of all but abandoning the correlative in favor of re-phrasing is an interesting one, which really drives home the point. It's not the choice I would have made, but I don't think it's inaccurate.


1- I find another example of coming est among the predicate and its adjective in the Spinoza's text:

Spinoza in Propositio XVII, Scholium denies that God has by nature some perfections like intellect and will. He says that many person disagree with him, because:

Nihil enim perfectius cognoscere sese aiunt quod Deo tribuere possunt quam id quod in nobis summa est perfectio

Which means:

For they say they know nothing more perfect, which they can attribute to God, than that which is the highest perfection in us

2- Eatenus can mean to such a degree. Thus meaning of sentence may be so:

for water to such a degree (in that status which water is still an extended substance and not a tangible object) is neither separated nor divisible

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