When Rousseau is talking about her crew being contaminated at the Black Rock (I think in the last episode of series one) she mentions someone on crew called "Montaigne" (at least that's what it sounds like). Michel de Montaigne was, of course, a famous 16th century French philosopher, a precursor of Rousseau. Montaigne was a famous skeptic. --HypnoSynthesis 01:37, 8 January 2007 (PST)

  • Sorry... that's a good try, but actually in the Official Lost Podcast transcript/May 19, 2006, the writers said that this was an homage to Yves Montand, who was in the movie Wages of Fear (which in turn had a similar plot to the delicate job of the dynamite heist). --PandoraX 03:43, 8 January 2007 (PST)
    • I think you are right but just a couple of minor niggles worth mentioning... The transcript of the Podcast, strangely, spells his name both "Montan" and "Montand." Also, vis-a-vis the blast door's "Malum consilium..." This Latin quotation is the topic of an essay by Montaigne (book 2, cap. 1).
  • Heh, thanks for bringing this up, but I transcribed that podcast, and just did it by sound. I'll correct it. That spelling is not anything official. --PandoraX 17:03, 11 January 2007 (PST)
  • Ah! How about this one then. I see it already noted under the De Groots article that Huig de Groot (aka Grotius) is an influential, medieval, political philosopher. De Groot is known for his seminal work on international law and the idea of a universal natural law which transcends regional customs, i.e., a law that is bigger than that of individual nations. --HypnoSynthesis 12:59, 9 January 2007 (PST)
  • While I'm at it... Kate Austen. There are at least two important philosophers called "Austin." John Austin (1790-1859) was an influential English philosopher of jurisprudence, i.e., law. J.L. Austin (1911-1960) was a famous English philosopher of language -I remember studying him at uni! --HypnoSynthesis 13:15, 9 January 2007 (PST)
  • If "Patchy" is actually named "Rainer", as the article in Lostpedia suggests, this may be a reference to the German poet-philosopher Rainer Maria Rilke. --HypnoSynthesis 13:02, 10 January 2007 (PST)
  • The English philosopher Francis Bacon. Someone has noted that "Aegrescit medendo" from the blast door was used by Francis Bacon in his essay On Sedition. However, Bacon also wrote an unfinished manuscript of a short story called New Atlantis (1626) in which he described being shipwrecked, with a sick crew, on a mysterious island populated by an advanced civilisation dedicated to different brances of scientific research. Maybe this is coincidence, but the blast door map also reads, "Sursum corda", lift up your hearts. The opening passage of New Atlantis, reads, "So that finding ourselves, in the midst of the greatest wilderness of waters in the world, without victual, we gave ourselves for lost men, and prepared for death. Yet we did lift up our hearts and voices to God above [...]" (Bacon, New Atlantis)—The preceding unsigned comment was added by HypnoSynthesis (talkcontribs) .
  • Lewis Carroll. One of the episodes is called White Rabbit, of course, an allusion to Alice in Wonderland. Carroll was the pen-name of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (1832-1898) an English mathematician and logician, who published several books on formal logic in addition to his poems and fiction.
  • These are good thoughts, Hypno, but some I think are a bit of a stretch? For example, with Kate's name, a lot of people have been speculating that it is actually based on Jane Austen (the author, who usually writes strong female protagonist roles). Some of those it's really hard to tell, as opposed to the ones on the page, I'd argue. --PandoraX 17:05, 11 January 2007 (PST)
  • Of course, they're just discussion points; worth making a mental note in case others spot more connections. However, to be honest, I think some of them are no more tenous as they stand than the parallels made in the article between Boone Carlye and Thomas Carlyle or Sayid and Edward Said. Personally, I feel that the name DeGroot is probably one of the most likely to be significant.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by HypnoSynthesis (talkcontribs) .
  • I personally do like the Sa'id reference there, though I guess the issue with that and Carlyle is that they could be both seen as debatable. I think in the case of debatable references, we could always push them to the theories tab page so they are off the main article, if seen as "controversial" (as opposed to Locke, Rousseau & Hume, which I don't think *anyone* would debate are the intent of the writers). It gets tricky to interpret, but I do like the fact that it inspires these kinds of discussions. --PandoraX 02:28, 17 January 2007 (PST)

I created a page to merge all the other info about philosopher references from other pages, since this is something that comes up with fans about every other day. Directing pages "Philosopher" and "Philosophers" here, too. I added in some of my thoughts on how the characters relate to their respective namesakes in my own words. However, I claim no expertise in the field of philosophy (though I have some limited exposure to the subject), so I'd ask that others who do correct anything mistated or add some thoughts in. Please keep it ONLY Lost-relevant, do not plagerize from Wikipedia (rewrite in your own words), and do not go into detail with biographies, which they can find through the wikipedia links. --PandoraX 07:50, 29 December 2006 (PST)

A little new to wiki-editing in general, but i have a question about adding a certain something to this page: would it be ridiculous for me to add a quote from Locke re-enforcing the idea of tabula rasa onto the page?? [he tells shannon that everyone gets a new life] Would this be acceptable or is it out of the question?? -- Innocencewithonus

I don't think thats ridiculous, its a good idea. Though, I'm thinking, is there a more direct quote about "blank slates" in the show, or is your Locke quote the most appropriate? --Nickb123 (Talk) 04:59, 4 January 2007 (PST)
There might be a better quote from the show in its entirety, but the quote itself caught my eye [or, rather, ear] because it was from Locke and seemed to relate pretty well to the idea of "tabula rasa." Still add or no go? --Innocencewithonus 14:28, 4 January 2007 (PST)
Add definitely, quotes are always nice to illustrate points - and god knows people always complain that we don't provide enough citations! --Nickb123 (Talk) 15:01, 4 January 2007 (PST)
  • I think it's a good idea also. I think I put the quote on Rebirth already (under Shannon) about "Everyone gets a new life on the island", but that can be added here too. --PandoraX 02:28, 17 January 2007 (PST)

Anthony Cooper

A question about Anthony Cooper: isn't it possible his name is an allusion, not to the First but to the Third Earl of Shaftesbury, the famous, but now somewhat neglected, anti-Hobbesian and proto-romantic philosopher? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Kmbush40 (talkcontribs) .

  • I dunno, this place seems to be a repository for everyone's favorite philosopher lately. I don't see that much direct relevance to that one except that he's a philosopher that shares the same name. The other Anthony Cooper was only added because the real life Cooper was a father figure to the real life John Locke and also is credited as saving his life from an illness (which is beyond coincidence).--PandoraX 20:17, 19 February 2007 (PST)

Edward Said

Is there any evidence that Edward Said is somehow a basis for Sayid?-- Dagg talk contribs4 8 10:31, 10 February 2007 (PST)

Said has absolutely no involvement whatsoever to the philosophy of this show. --Hen-Regale 17:33, 19 February 2007 (PST)

  • Yeah, I wonder about this one and a few of the other main article ones also. Someone should probably move the more tenuous "stretch" relations to the theories pages until there's more confirmation (I liked that Said discussed Orientalism and "Us vs. Others" philosophy, so left it for now). They are interesting, but perhaps not intentional, whereas there's no question that Locke, Rousseau, Hume and some of the others are canon references (I believe, also referenced in the podcasts) --PandoraX 20:20, 19 February 2007 (PST)
  • I agree. Said breaks the pattern of all the rest. In particular, he never articulated a view on free will as far as I know. And if Orientalism was the issue, Sayid would be the opposite of Said given his position in the show. I dont remember Sayid attempting to understand the motivations of the others or questioning the false assumptions made about the others by the people around him. Dharmatel4 21:56, 16 March 2007 (PDT)

B.F. Skinner

I've added B.F. Skinner to the end of the article. He doesn't have a character named after him, but given that so many of his ideas seem to be reflected in DHARMA and the Others, he needs to be mentioned. While he rejected the notion that he was a philosopher, its difficult to consider his early 1970s book "Beyond Freedom and Dignity" not to be philosophy. He specifically deals with the concept of free will from a philsophical point of view. Dharmatel4 21:50, 16 March 2007 (PDT)

Skinner's Walden Two, which describes a community resembling the Dharma Initiative, was said by him to be based on Bacon's New Atlantis (see above). Just worth noting, it's vaguely possible the writers may be familiar with both books. Perhaps a 19th century utopian community (a bit like Bacon's New Atlantis) was based on the island, founded by Magnus Hanso and the crew of the Black Rock. We could imagine this being subsequently replaced by a modern technological community (a bit like Skinner's Walden Two) founded by Alvar Hanso, i.e., the Dharma Initiative. --HypnoSynthesis 15:57, 24 June 2007 (PDT)

William Godwin

Godwin was a pre-anarchist philosopher who seems to have quite a few principles that the 'Others' live by. Goodwin happens to be one of the others, and we don't know anything other than the sound of his name, unsure if it is his last or first name. (I am not 100% if we have seen it other than credits and such) - Next362 13:40, 8 May 2007 (PDT)

Tariq Ali

Could be something of a stretch, but something to think about- Tariq, from One of Them, shares a given name with the British-Pakistani writer/activist Tariq Ali ( I wouldn't normally even suggest a comparison, since Tariq isn't the most significant character in the lost universe, and Ali fits well outside the general Enlightenment-era theme, but- the allusion to Richard Alpert makes me think another reference to a 20th-century counterculture icon might be possible.

removing Edward Said. Opinions?

I think the section on Edward Said should be removed. The ties to Lost and to Philosophy are really a stretch. Said didn't really ever propose a general philsophy or deal with true philosophical issues. If I dont hear any objections in the next couple weeks, I'll go ahead and remove it. Dharmatel4 20:34, 13 June 2007 (PDT)

For what it's worth, I've got two degrees in philosophy and I would have said DeGroot, Austin, and Lewis Carroll seem like more obvious philosophical allusions than Edward Said. See my comments above. --HypnoSynthesis 15:43, 24 June 2007 (PDT)

I strongly support the idea to include DeGroot, actually I was so bold to already add a paragraph, if this is in conflict with your policies, I apologize. If it could remain, someone please add a picture and a reference too the DeGroots. Further, I think that Edward Said should stay, even though his name is even different from that of Jarrah's. His conception of "Orientalism" says something about identity and self reflection in general, his notion of the "Other" is quite prominent in LOST. Further I doubt it is necessary to match with all of Sayid Jarrah's character. The very prominent John Locke for example can't be considered a staunch Lockeian as well (Does it matter if name fatherhood was intentended by the makers?).--Donburi Kaminari 03:00, 2 July 2007 (PDT)

I could see keeping it but seperating him from Jarrah. I think there should be one section for the obvious name-character links with philosophy and another section on those not linked to character names (Said, Carroll, Skinner). Dharmatel4 11:07, 9 July 2007 (PDT)

absolutely edward said aint sayid. By the way, Grotius is early modern. Bentham could be termed a materialist, I prefer to think of him as the proponent of the Fictional Greater good. Of course, this comes from a person who think Julius Marx was a greater intetellect than Karl Marx. You can bet your life on that---Past recaptured 14:40, August 15, 2010 (UTC)

Walter Benjamin

  • There is a prominent German philosopher and cultural critiv named Walter Benjamin (1892–1940). Benjamin Linus could be a name reference to him. What could be further a connection to LOST is that he translated Marcel Proust's famous novel In Search of Lost Time. He died on his escape form the Nazis, probably through his own hand. --Donburi Kaminari 03:00, 2 July 2007 (PDT)

Linus Pauling

There was also a chemist and peace activist named Linus Pauling who won the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Chemistry prize. He worked in the feilds of biological mollecules and had an interest in the application of quantum physics to the electronic structure of mollecules. He wrote a book called How To Live Longer And Feel Better. Both the peace and activism and the science are consistent with what Benjamin Linus continually claims is the purpose of the others on the Island. He is always saying "we're not murderers" and implying that the research that the research that they are supposedly doing will somehow help people, cure cancer, restore parapelegics, cure infertility et cetera.--I drink therefore I am 19:05, August 19, 2010 (UTC)

Lewis Carroll

Surely with the White Rabbit episode and now the discovery of the Looking Glass station, its logo, etc., it's obvious that the show is very explicitly referencing Lewis Carroll? Everyone knows that the Alice books are broadly "philosophical" fiction, but any philosophy student should be able to tell you also that Lewis Carroll, real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, was actually an academic mathematician and logician, in which he lectured at Oxford university. He published a textbook on formal, philosophical logic called Symbolic Logic, and also something called The Game of Logic. His fiction drew heavily on philosophical paradoxes from linguistics and formal logic. Is anyone opposed to adding him to this page? --HypnoSynthesis 02:15, 7 July 2007 (PDT)

Edmund Burke

The article states: "and the character of Edmund Burke sought to exploit his ex-wife's research as his own, making him an opportunist (a trait stereotypically associated with conservatism)."

This is either a very biased opinion of an editor or just plain lack of knowledge. If anything, conservative philosophy is a complete antithesis of opportunism and this is certainly the case with regard to Edmund Burke. I think this should be corrected and in this case stricken. There is absolutely no connection between the Lost character and conservatism. Rather this is an attempt to *try* and attach a philosophical trait to a character in the series. Chelman 00:21, 1 August 2007 (PDT)

sayid's real life counterpart

I dont quite see the connection between sayid jarrah and edward said. am I missing something? --Avindratalkcontribs email  18:58, 15 October 2007 (PDT)

A few thoughts...

It maybe that I'm seeing things that are not actually there but a few things that night go in this section but not sure yet. Anyway first another philosopher reference, Charlie's middle name is Hieronymus which could be a reference to Hieronymus of Rhodes a old Greek philosopher. Hieronymus of Rhodes believed that the goal of life was the avoidance of pain which can be seen in Charlie's addiction to a pain-killer (heroin).

Secondly I've noticed a few names that can be seen as starting a scientist naming scheme similar to the philosopher one. Specifically I've found two names dealing with electromagnetics. Daniel Faraday (after Michael Faraday) and Kelvin Inman (after Lord Kelvin, better known for his thermodynamics but also did some work with Faraday) Another name, Shannon Rutherford (after Ernest Rutherford, who is known for his atomic model proposing the existence of neutrons, non charged atomic particles) is kinda electrical involved. There may be more too. So am I just making up pattern where none exist on this? The fact that two of them have to do with electromagnetics is what piqued my interest.--Jvbishop 08:21, 8 February 2008 (PST)

  • Yes, there's some that should definitely be added, like Lewis Carrol, Faraday, and Minkowski --Phoénix 11:20, 2 May 2008 (PDT)

Spelling mistake

I would edit this, but there's no 'Edit' link:

"Hume was also a sceptic about causation"

"sceptic" should be "skeptic"

thanks! :D --Phoénix 11:18, 2 May 2008 (PDT)

Adding a character/philosopher.

Jeremy Bentham, mentioned in the last episode of Season 4 should be added to the list. The Wikipedia link is as follows:


Karen de Groot sums up the philosophical background of DHARMA: Careful observation is the only key to true and complete awareness. This is Empiricism, the philosophy which states that the origin of all knowledge is found in experience. That which cannot be found in experience does not exist. This is the foundation of Materialism. Note the DHARMA name: Department of Heuristics and Research on Material Applications. Well, what of Spiritual Applications? It is not coincidence that the same actor, Terry O'Quinn, plays both John Locke, the father of Empiricism, and Jeremy Bentham, perhaps the most (in)famous proponent of Materialism. It is not coincidence that Jeremy Bentham dies shortly after the Miracle of the Moving Island. What can Materialism say to a miracle? In the early 1970's, when DHARMA was founded, the human sciences were not developed, and merely aped the work done in the material sciences. Everything had to be measured in order to be accepted. It is measurement --i.e. numbers-- that are the enemy.—The preceding unsigned comment was added by Malhous (talkcontribs) .

The Two Rosseaus

The Island Rosseau was a member of a French expedition to Tahiti. One almost immediately thinks of another very famous French expedition to Tahiti, carried out by Louis-Antoine Bougainville and Philibert Commerson, launched in 1766. On their return, the arguments of French Rosseau concerning the Noble Savage took on a new vigor. Were the Tahitians Primitives, or were the Parisians a Degraded People? One can compare this to the relation of the DHARMA scientists to the Others, the remnant of the original inhabitants of the Island. Who, exactly, is "advanced," and who, exactly, is "backward"? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Malhous (talkcontribs) .

Perfect. This is precisely the sort of observation that we're after here. It relates to the question we find ourselves asking about Others and the Castaways and whether either society is "better". Relativism may be related to this. Maximilian333 14:25, August 15, 2010 (UTC)

Richard Alpert?

I would think, though not one of the 'classic' philosophers, the real Richard Alpert would qualify to be here. Radagastwiz 03:31, 1 February 2009 (UTC)

  • He's mentioned in the religion section under Hinduism--Tricksterson 00:52, 9 February 2009 (UTC)

Keen observation. Maximilian333 14:18, August 15, 2010 (UTC)

Kate Austin

I know it's spelled with an 'i' instead of an 'e' but she seems to fit, From Wiki.... ""Her devotion to liberty made her an anarchist; her hostility to patriarchy made her a feminist. She was too much the former to join the organized women’s movements of her day, and too much the latter to ally with mainline political anarchists—most of them men—whose devotion to liberty often stopped short of women’s liberation." — Miller, Howard S. Kate Austin: A Feminist-Anarchist on the Farmer's Last Frontier[3]"

plus her middle name is Cooper.

Kate killed her abusive father (anti-patriarchal) and lives as an outlaw fugitive (anarchism). Maximilian333 14:18, August 15, 2010 (UTC)

You folks have done some outstanding work here. Thanks. If any of you are true fanatics, you might consider referencing and citing some of the texts on Lost Philosophy such as the Blackwell series. Many libraries carry them now. Also we need citations from standard philosophy texts and encyclopedias to prove that this is all grounded and not simply conjecture. Good work! Maximilian333 14:18, August 15, 2010 (UTC)


The article now is about "Philosophers" or maybe "List of philosophical references." Which is great. But an article on "philosophy" would be something totally different - you know, covering everyone's differing philosophies, Fate versus free will, Science vs. faith, Economics, Good and bad people and more...--- Balk Of Fametalk 15:05, August 15, 2010 (UTC)


Could his name be connected to the islamistic philosopher Sayid Qutb? Hjerta92 15:50, April 25, 2011 (UTC)