Infinite regress

The Hellenic-Medieval rejection of infinite regress is axiomatic when we get a clear view of what is being rejected. We get a typical example of the claim in Nic. Eth. I. c. 2:

If, then, there is some end of the things we do, which we desire for its own sake (everything else being desired for the sake of this), and if we do not choose everything for the sake of something else (for at that rate the process would go on to infinity, so that our desire would be empty and vain), clearly this must be the good and the chief good.

The infinite series in question is of things desired for the sake of something else, and an infinite regress of such final causes is impossibleWhy?

Imagine going to a bar, ordering a Long Island Ice Tea, and getting a series of things that are useful for the drink: hi ball glass, ice cubes, swizzle stick, drink napkin, etc. after this goes on for a while, you ask when the drink is coming and the bartender tells you that at this bar you only get things that can be used for drinks, but not drinks themselves. Such a bar would be pointless, or – to use Aristotle’s 19th Century English – “empty and vain”. It has the whiff of a Twilight Zone episode.

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