The productive seeing of the essence [93-94]
appear to be arbitrary declarations, to which, however, we acquiesce. The positings of the essence are without foundation if we understand by "foundation" the always subsequent reference back of what is asserted to something already purely and simply present at hand, even i f not always known. The only knowledge that can be demonstrated in such a way, hence that can be founded, is one which tries to know and determine what is present at hand, i.e., a knowledge of facts. In all factual knowledge, however, there already resides an essential knowledge guiding and supporting it. The result of these reflections was that a grasping of the essence can never be founded through a knowledge of facts. For in the first place all real factual particularizations of the essence in question—e.g., the essence of a table—can never be collected, and secondly, this gathering would still be insufficient, since the essence also holds for possible instances. Thirdly, and above all , the notion of a foundation of the essence and of the determination of the essence by reference to corresponding real and possible facts is in itself absurd. For in order to discover the facts pertaining to the essence and to select them and exhibit them as justifications for the legitimacy of this positing of the essence, the positing of the essence must already be presupposed.
Consequently, the essence and the determination of the essence do not admit any foundation of the kind that we accomplish in the field of factual knowledge. The essence of something is not at all to be discovered simply like a fact; on the contrary, it must be brought forth, since it is not directly present in the sphere of immediate representing and intending. To bring forth is a kind of making, and so there resides in all grasping and positing of the essence something creative. The creative always appeal's violent and arbitrary, as if it should be concealed that it is bound to a higher lawfulness which must be protected against the intrusion of common opinion. For the latter has its own rules, puts them into play everywhere, and abhors the exception. If we call the positing of the essence a bringing-forth and thereby first of all take "essence" according to the Greek conception (ἰδέα), then the "bringing-forth" must also be understood in the Greek sense.
To bring forth means to bring out into the light, to bring something in sight which was up to then not seen at all, and specifically