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Category Theory (Oxford Logic Guides) Paperback – August 13, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0199237180 ISBN-10: 0199237182 Edition: 2nd

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Product Details

  • Series: Oxford Logic Guides (Book 52)
  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; 2 edition (August 13, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199237182
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199237180
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 0.7 x 6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #206,031 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


Review from previous edition: "This excellent textbook can be recommended to everybody who would like to learn the basis of category theory." --EMS Newsletter

About the Author

Steve Awodey studied Mathematics and Philosophy at the University of Marburg (Germany) and the University of Chicago, earning his Ph.D. from Chicago under Saunders Mac Lane in 1997. He is now a Professor in the Department of Philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is an active researcher in Category Theory and Logic, and has authored and co-authored numerous journal articles.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Very solid, goes nicely with the Simmons book.
Simple, because Awodey's text will help you `see' and hence understand, at the necessary level, Category Theory.
Jason Schorn
Some abstract mathematics is a must unless you have a good teacher to guide you through the book.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 92 people found the following review helpful By Jason Schorn on November 18, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Several years ago I came across an on-line .pdf format of Awodey's manuscript while trying to find a text on Category Theory whose content was not as intense as Mac Lane's `Categories for the Working Mathematician' and it is wonderful to see this book come to fruition. Without a doubt it is true that the available array of Category theoretic texts for mathematicians has been confined to the more abstract texts whose readership is limited to those individuals who are either researching topics integral to Category theory or graduate students of, say Algebraic Topology/Geometry, who utilize Categorical constructs and processes within the confines of their respective fields.

So where does this text fit in? I believe this text can be quantified as "the glue" between Category theoretic texts written for non-mathematicians and the hardcore texts of Mac Lane, Herrlich or Ademek et al.

What features set this text apart from the others? Simple, it is focused. Let me preface my explanation with the following: I firmly believe in the importance of demonstrating or motivating any given subject through the use of concrete examples and, in particular, through the use of several examples that can be built upon throughout the text. Awodey sees the importance of this and focuses on illuminating the abstractness of Category theory by carefully building on or utilizing Monoids and Posets. Such structures may readily seem un-familiar to some readers but, if they pause long enough to compare what they know with the basic axioms for a given set to be a Monoid/Poset, then they will see that the majority of structures in which they have been working are, in fact, specialized Monoids/Posets. Take for example Groups.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By voutasaurus on September 24, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is excellent for students with a basic knowledge of group/linear algebra, general topology and type theory, or any combination of these. Some abstract mathematics is a must unless you have a good teacher to guide you through the book.

I am currently a third year undergrad majoring in maths and computer science, and so far I have found this book incredibly enjoyable and enlightening. It is orders of magnitude more accessible than MacLane's Categories for the Working Mathematician, and yet it manages to illuminate the topic in a precise, deep and thought provoking way. It has helped me to draw abstract connections and recognise deep patterns that I had previously been totally ignorant of, and I'm only a quarter of the way through the book so far.

It has inspired me to start a reading group on the subject of Category Theory, and now I even want to do research in this field!
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8 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Michael Vanier on May 6, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Steve Awodey is, by all accounts, an excellent researcher in the field of category theory. Sadly, his abilities as a textbook writer are not of the same order. I will admit that category theory by its very nature is a difficult subject to teach. Although the basic notions are fairly straightforward, the applications of these notions are so numerous, and the level of abstraction climbs so high so quickly, that writing a good CT textbook would be a challenge for the most gifted textbook writer. Awodey is not that writer, and this book is only going to be useful to you if you are an advanced undergraduate or graduate student in mathematics with a good background in abstract algebra. In other words, it's like most CT textbooks. What's most annoying is that the author claims that the book is intended to be accessible to readers without this background, such as computer scientists (like me), linguists, cognitive scientists, and philosophers. Nothing could be further from the truth. There is absolutely no way that this book is suitable for such an audience. I couldn't get through the first chapter. The writing style is wildly, wildly uneven; there are stretches that are extremely lucid and comprehensible, but then the author drops in a bunch of advanced material, seemingly unaware of the fact that by doing so he's just lost his intended audience. Also, much of the book reads like notes the author jotted down just before a lecture. You can see in many cases that just a little more focused explanation could have really helped the exposition, but it isn't there. There are numerous notes to the reader, like suggesting that some theorem should be proved by the reader (generally indicated with just the word "proof!" in parentheses).Read more ›
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