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 Edit Definition/Summary A category is some kind of generalization of a mathematical theory. An example of a mathematical theory is the theory of groups. Important concepts in the theory of groups are the groups itself and the homomorphisms between the groups. These two concepts give rise to the category of groups. Another example of a mathematical theory is topology. Important concepts in topology are the topological spaces and continuous maps between them. These two concepts give rise to the category of topological spaces. In general, every good mathematical theory should have a set of objects and morphisms between those objects. It are these concepts which define a category.

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 Edit Breakdown Mathematics > Foundations >> Category Theory

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 Edit Extended explanation Definition of a category

Commentary

 micromass @ 07:31 PM May20-11 I added the notion of a functor. I'll expand it in the following days. Also, the notion of "locally small category" is not standard at all. Of the three main books about categories (Borceux, Maclane, and Adamek-Herrlich-Strecker), only Maclane talks about locally small categories. Furthermore, I've not encountered the notion of locally small categories very much in research papers. But there might be some who do use it...

 icantadd @ 03:30 PM May20-11 What you have defined is usually called a locally-small category. The collection of maps between two objects need not generally be a set... Also, it might be helpful to separate the data part of the definition (objects, arrows) from the axioms part of the definition (closed under composition, contains identities).

 tiny-tim @ 03:59 AM Jan25-11 Hi micromass! I think the reader will wonder what it's all for… is it just an interesting definition? Perhaps some useful applications should be added, eg functors and a theorem or two? (A separate entry "functor" would be pointless here, it would get no autolinking. )

 micromass @ 07:40 PM Jan19-11 Ah yes, this is my work I'm still improving the article though...

 tiny-tim @ 06:37 PM Jan18-11 Whoever created this must have been accidentally logged out while doing so, resulting in your name not registering … would you like to stake your claim in a comment?

 Edit log Date User Name Edit type Mar13-13 Unregistered extexpl