On categorical theory-building: Beyond the formal

Formal Axiomatic method as exemplified in Hilbert’s Grundlagen der Geometrie is based on a structuralist vision of mathematics and science according to which theories and objects of these theories are to be construed “up to isomorphism”. This structuralist approach is tightly linked with the idea of making Set theory into foundations of mathematics. Category theory suggests a generalisation of Formal Axiomatic method, which amounts to construing objects and theories “up to general morphism” rather than up to isomorphism. It is shown that this category-theoretic method of theorybuilding better fits mathematical and scientific practice. Moreover so since the requirement of being determined up to isomorphism (i.e. categoricity in the usual model-theoretic sense) turns to be unrealistic in many important cases. The category-theoretic approach advocated in this paper suggests an essential revision of the structuralist philosophy of mathematics and science. It is argued that a category should be viewed as a far-reaching generalisation of the notion of structure rather than a particular kind of structure. Finally, I compare formalisation and categorification as two alternative epistemic strategies.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 23,280
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

52 ( #92,179 of 1,932,462 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

5 ( #197,462 of 1,932,462 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.