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March 6, 2023

Philosophical Perspectives on Category Theory

Posted by David Corfield

This is the title of an online talk I’m giving to the Topos Institute this Thursday (17:00 UTC), 9 March. Brush up on your Fermat primes and you can join the Zoom meeting.

It’s a good opportunity to reflect on the many years devoted to the cause of promoting the philosophical significance of category theory. As storm clouds gather over the Humanities Division here at Kent, and inducements are offered for us to leave, the brighter future I envisage may come too late for me. But I don’t doubt that the first thrill of encountering category theory around 30 years ago was the intimation of a profound way of thinking.

For my most recent views on what we should make of the rise of category theory in mathematics, see Thomas Kuhn, Modern Mathematics and the Dynamics of Reason.

But perhaps it will be successes in Applied Category Theory that will prove to be unignorable, carried out by

a growing community of researchers who study computer science, logic, engineering, physics, biology, chemistry, social science, systems, linguistics and other subjects using category-theoretic tools. ACT2023

Posted at March 6, 2023 4:06 PM UTC

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Re: Philosophical Perspectives on Category Theory

A recording is here, and the slides here.

Posted by: David Corfield on March 10, 2023 1:38 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: Philosophical Perspectives on Category Theory

“… successes of Applied Category Theorem …” Do string theorists need to “categorify the theory of Feynman diagrams”? I say that Professor Milgrom of the Weizmann Institute is the world’s greatest living scientist and MOND is the key to understanding string theory — am I wrong about MOND & string theory? Should string theorists carefully study Jeffrey Morton’s 2006 article “Categorical Algebra and Quantum Mechanics”? Is the 2015 post “What did Grothendieck do?” something that string theorists should think about? Please google “milgrom fredkin wolfram” & “milgrom mcgaugh kroupa”.

Posted by: David Brown on March 21, 2023 7:40 PM | Permalink | Reply to this

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