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The underlying philosophy of the entire show is the 11th century discussion around what is called Anselm's ontological argument for God and Gaunilo's refutation using the "lost Island" argument. Anselm (1033-1109)believed that he could use reason alone to prove the existence of God. He postulated that God is a "being than which a greater cannot be thought" (BTWAGCBT). But obviously,being a real entity is greater than just being an idea in someone's mind. Since BTWAGCBT exists in our minds, we can easily think of an even greater being, which would be a real BTWAGCBT. Therefore, BTWAGCBT, or God, must exist. He then went on to prove God's qualities, like justice, mercy, etc. using the same argument. Essentially, the argument boiled down to "if you can think it, it exists". But a monk named Gaunilo of Marmontier quickly realized the fallacy of the argument. He thought of an island, lost on earth, that was greater than any other island in the world (IGTAOIITW). Since we can think it, then we can think of a greater one, which is an IGTAOIITW that truly exists. And for television, a truly greater island would be one that moved in space, or in time, or even thought for itself. In fact this fallacious argument can be extended to prove the existence of anything, like tropical polar bears. This show is really a thought experiment about what it would be like if the IGTAOIITW really did exist. Gaunilo's lost island provides the title of the show. --Batahoe 14:04, March 18, 2010 (UTC)
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- Sawyer is a reflection of Ayn Rands character Howard Roark, who is a soul par excellence, joy of living personified, living only for himself, and that Kate Austen is a reflection of Dominique Wynand, his perfect priestess, living only for him. Furthermore, perhaps Charlie Pace represents Peater Keating, the opposite of Howard Roark, with vanity and greed, will find success at the expense of others, a selfless man with no ethics or that Jack Shephard reflects Gail Wynand, who achieves more than anyone, knows how to manipulate the world for his success, but never quite says or does what he wants.
- If the name on the newspaper clipping is Jeremy Bentham (or [something] Bentham), it could be a cover name for Michael. Jeremy Bentham proposed the idea of a hedonistic calculus which would determine the rightness or wrongness of an act based on the pleasure recieved. Michael proved he would do anything, even kill people and betray others, for the good of getting his son back. This is a severe form of utilitarianism.
(edit: The name on the newspaper clipping was in fact John Lantham, but the writers said this would be changed)
- There was a German philosopher named Walter Benjamin (1892–1940). Benjamin Linus could be a name reference to him.
- The Others represent a major topic in philosophy known as othering or the Constitutive Other idea initiated by Hegel and explored in depth by many philosophers such as Sartre, Derrida, Focault and Levinas, whose explorations have led to explorations of the idea of alterity or the phenomenon of shifting one's perspectives to those of another. Alterity has numerous implications on politics, sexuality and gender, and societies. Pauline Turner Strong used alterity to frame her exploration of colonial American's situational captivity in her paper "Captive Selves, Captivating Others".