On this point, Aristotle says that there must be, in this manifoldness of concerns, such a τέλος that is δι' αὐτό.46 It is impossible that we, within the circle of all possible concerns in relation to one another, “take hold of one on account of another. For, in this way, one goes into the unlimited; in this manner, one obtains no πέρας, and so the ὄρεξις, being after something, becomes κενὴ καὶ ματαία, empty and vain.”47 Πέρας determines the being-there of what is concerned. In concern about something, there is already implicit the fact that it concerns something. The completion of concern is only possible in that what is concerned is there, that the concern is not grasping at straws, that concern has the character of the πέρας. Only in this way is it possible for a concern in general to come into its being. This is what was meant previously in the sense of being: being-there is being-limited. About this, Aristotle said that the manifoldness of concerns that constitute the being-there of human beings as being-with-one-another must have a πέρας. But this means that insofar as the concerns are related to each other in a guiding context, the πέρας is constituted through a τέλος δι' αὐτό, a τέλος with which we are concerned “for its own sake.”
What we should take away from this general consideration of the ἀνθρώπινον ἀγαθόν is this: it is that which is there as the τέλος δι' αὐτό in the consideration of the being-there of human beings, what περιέχοι ἂν τὰ τῶν ἄλλων [τέλη].48 The τέλος that is made a topic in πολιτική must be in such a way that it “encompasses the others, encloses them in itself.” You see from this type of consideration that it immediately provides no specific determination whatsoever with respect to what the τέλος of human beings is. Aristotle only says that it follows from the being-structure of being-with-one-another that there must be a τέλος δι' αὐτό. This τέλος δι' αὐτό is necessarily the topic of πολιτική. The question is: what are the characters of this τέλος, this ἀνθρώπινον ἀγαθόν as τέλος δι' αὐτό? What belongs to the character of the ἀγαθόν as τέλος δι' αὐτό for the being-with-one-another of human beings?
β. The βίοι as τέλη δι' αὑτά. The Criteria for the τέλος δι' αὐτό: οἰκεῖον,
δυσαφαίρετον, τέλειον, and αὔταρκες
With this apparently formal-universal consideration, you see that Aristotle keeps concrete being-there, determined as being-with-one-another, constantly in view. The further consideration, the laying out of the basic determination of the ἀγαθόν, and likewise of what suffices for this ἀγαθόν, is oriented toward concrete experience itself, and indeed in such a way that not only is present being-there posited in the investigation, but at the same time there is a questioning of the meanings that this present being-there has of itself with respect to what its ἀγαθόν is. That is Aristotle’s orientation. Concrete being-there does not first acquire an interpretation through him, but rather it belongs to being-there
46. Eth. Nic. Α 1, 1094 a 19.
47. Eth. Nic. Α 1, 1094 a 19 sqq.: μὴ πάντα δι’ ἕτερον αἱρούμεθα (πρόεισι γὰρ οὕτω γ’ εἰς ἄπειρον, ὥστ’ εἶναι κενὴν καὶ ματαίαν τὴν ὄρεξιν).
48. Eth. Nic. Α 1, 1094 b 6.