Notandum, dari necessario unius cujusque rei existentis certam aliquam CAUSAM, propter quam existit. Et notandum, hanc causam, propter quam aliqua res existit, vel debere contineri in ipsa natura et DEFINITIONE [15]rei existentis (nimirum quod ad ipsius naturam pertinet existere), vel debere EXTRA ipsam dari.

Found this in Schopenhauer's "On the Fourfold Root of the Principle of Sufficient Reason".

Could someone translate this to English ?

Thanks in advance.

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    Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 13:17
  • @JoonasIlmavirta Thanks for the comment. This piece of text is part of a philosophical paragraph. After this piece, the author (or translator) explains it in English. I just want the literal meaning of this piece of text. Thanks again. Commented Jul 3, 2020 at 13:40

1 Answer 1


Notandum "to be noted" ( compare: memorandum 'to be remembered')

This is followed by indirect speech: 'that...' with Accusative certam aliquam causam 'some sure CAUSE;' and Infinitive, dari necessario 'be necessarily given' :

To be noted: that of every single existing thing whatsoever a sure cause be necessarily given, whereby it exists. And, to be noted: this cause, whereby ( propter quam ) any ( aliqua ) thing exists....

vel debere in.... vel debere extra.... "either ought to be within..." "or ought to be outside..." The explanation continues in Accusative and Infinitive construction of indirect speech, the object of 'to be noted.'

...either ought to be contained within the very nature and definition of the existent thing (indisputably nimirum because quod it pertains to the nature of itself pertinet ad ipsius naturam to exist existere ), or it (meaning 'the cause') ought to be given outside of itself.

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