According to the analysis presented in this article, in Paul Ricoeur's works there is an evident evolution of views on the existential conception of the eternal present. The direction of this evolution is not accidental. Its stages are marked out by acceptance, expressed in the early Ricoeur's works (monographs about Jaspers and Marcel), and then more and more evident distancing from this conception. The change in Ricoeur's view is related to his indirectly demonstrated conviction that the existential conception of the eternal present and the future-centered philosophy of hope are reconcilable. This statement becomes clearly evident in the light of the Ricoeur's considerations on personal identity in his later works. The existential conception of the eternal present merely indicates a momentary 'point' identity, reduced to individual 'atoms of eternity'. Based on this conception, it is difficult to develop a principle that binds together these individual 'atoms of eternity' into the perspective of a uniform 'self'. However, the philosophy of hope may be easily correlated with the concept of the personal identity based on the fidelity to established commitments that guarantee the quality personal endurance despite the physical changes.
Financed by the National Centre for Research and Development under grant No. SP/I/1/77065/10 by the strategic scientific research and experimental development program:
SYNAT - “Interdisciplinary System for Interactive Scientific and Scientific-Technical Information”.