It’s our first episode with an actual title and it’s a doozy. I could probably write an entire post about why “tabula rasa” is not only a great title for this particular episode but also a fantastic piece of showmanship for how Lost rewards fans who dig beyond the surface, but let’s just take a quick dip in the pond for now.
Tabula rasa is a Latin phrase – which translates literally to “scraped tablet” – and is often casually taken to mean “blank slate.” Most obviously, this refers to our hardy survivors. The crash has equalized their histories, putting them on this island together with blank slates to start anew. Who cares if you were in handcuffs? Who cares if you were a drug addict? Welcome to the island of second chances (and jungle monsters)!
But if we take one more layer off of this, tabula rasa as a philosophical concept also refers to the idea that the human mind is blank at birth and that all of our ideas and reasoning come from experience; it supposes that there is very little that is innate about us. Care to take a guess which English philosopher is most associated with exploring this idea? It was John Locke. Of course it was.
All right, let’s talk about this episode. Continue reading “S1E03 – Tabula Rasa”