Category Theory : Mathematics :: Phenomenology : Philosophy – In other words….


I came across Category Theory this last week, and I’ve been tunneling through YouTube videos and various books about this subject. It was brought to the fore by a couple of mathematicians in the 1940s who had been working on topology, who noticed that some basic ideas in topology were the same as those in other branches of mathematics. However, one of these mathematicians had studied mathematics in Poland in the early 1930s, where Polish mathematicians had already been tooling around with this very same idea, that is: a higher-level abstraction of mathematics, a “math of mathematics,” that tied together what was going on throughout the various branches of mathematics.


OF COURSE you can abstract what’s going on in the various and diverse branches of mathematics. At its heart, mathematics is a human endeavor which takes objects and applies set rules for manipulating them and also rules for determining consistency and completeness. (Yes, I remember Gödel’s work and his Incompleteness Theorems. His work did not destroy mathematics. Besides, his work is technically work in METAmathematics. But I digress.)

Anyway, the nonsense that computer programmers are taught re Category Theory (for some reason a funky computer language called Haskell has seen a lot of association and application of Category Theory) is warmed over college-level Basic Algebra.

For those of us with degrees in Mathematics (guilty as charged), Category Theory is no more than Basic Algebra shit about domains, ranges, and functions (although they aren’t “ranges” in Category Theory, they are “co-domains,” and they aren’t “functions,” they are “functors.”) And they allow categories to include sets, but they work with classes, which are “larger” than sets, and not subject to Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorems.

I made the reference to phenomenology in the title of this post because phenomenology is the Western philosophy version of navel-gazing. IT’S WORTHLESS.

So is Category Theory.

You have been informed. Good luck.



About johnvkaravitis

Senior Financial Analyst: Energy, Insurance, IT consulting, Pharmaceuticals, Publishing, Real Estate
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