§11. Phenomenological Clarification [150-151]

If the shaped product, the form (μορφή), is founded in the εἶδος, then this means that both concepts are understood by reference to the process of shaping, forming, producing. The order and connection of these two concepts is established by the performance of the process of forming and shaping and the necessary precedence in that process of the look of what is to be formed. The anticipated look, the proto-typical image, shows the thing as what it is before the production and how it is supposed to look as a product. The anticipated look has not yet been externalized as something formed, actual, but is the image of imag-ination, of fantasy, φαντασία, as the Greeks say—that which forming first brings freely to sight, that which is sighted. It is no accident that Kant, for whom the concepts of form and matter, μορφή and ὕλη, play a fundamental epistemological role, conjointly assigns to imagination a distinctive function in explaining the objectivity of knowledge. The εἶδος as the look, anticipated in imagination, of what is to be formed gives the thing with regard to what this thing already was and is before all actualization. Therefore the anticipated look, the εἶδος, is also called τὸ τί ἦν εἶναι, that which a being already was. What a being already was before actualization, the look from which production takes the measure for its product, is at the same time that whence what is formed properly derives. The εἶδος, that which a thing already was beforehand, gives the kind of the thing, its kin and descent, its γένος. Therefore thingness [or reality, Sachheit] is also identical with γένος, which should be translated as stock, family, generation. That is the ontological sense of this expression and not, say, the usual sense of the German Gattung {genus in the sense of a group or sort]. The logical meaning is founded on the former. When he deals with the highest what-determinations of a being, Plato most frequently speaks of the γένη τῶν ὄντων, the races, stocks, generations, of beings. Here, too, thingness is interpreted by looking to that from which the being derives in becoming formed.

The determination φύσις also points toward the same direction of interpretation of the what. Φύειν means to let grow, procreate, engender, produce, primarily to produce its own self. What makes products or the produced product possible (producible) is again the look of what the product is supposed to become and be. The actual thing arises out of φύσις, the nature of the thing. Everything earlier than what is actualized is still free from the imperfection, one-sidedness, and sensibilization given necessarily with all actualization. The what that precedes all actualization, the look that provides the standard, is not yet subject to change like the actual, to coming-to-be and passing-away. It is also earlier than the mutable thing; and as being always earlier, that is, as what a being—always conceived of as producible and produced—was already beforehand, it is what is true in and of the being of a being. The Greeks at the same time interpret what is thus