S1E03 – Tabula Rasa

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┬ásurvivors. 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”