"The Metaphysics of the Matrix" (55-65)--"Metaphysics" is the study of what is real and what is knowable; the term "Meta" meaning "overarching" or "all inclusive" and "physics" meaning "the study of reality". At the very simplest, then, metaphisicists try to come up with a system (a metaphysics) that explains the world that we live in and how we experience that world--how we know what is "real" from what is "imaginary". On pages 61 and 62, Gracia and Sanford us the terms "source" and "ontological status" to make distinctions that allow them to claim that the world in the Matrix is "unreal" and the world outside of the Matrix (outside of the program) is the "real world". What they heck do they mean by "source" and "ontological status"? Using whatever sources you see fit (though tell us where you looked!) come to an understanding as to what these terms mean, define these terms in your own words, and then tell us whether or not you agree with Gracia and Sanford's assessment.
C. Jason Smith, Ph.D. is Professor of English at the City University of New York-LaGuardia CC. He has published books and articles on gender in science fiction film and fantasy and is an active science and technology writer.