I know there was a question about good algebraic geometry books on here before, but it doesn't seem to address my specific concerns.
** Question **
Are there any well-motivated introductions to scheme theory?
My idea of what "well-motivated" means are specific enough that I think it warrants a detailed example.
** Example of what I mean by well motivated **
The only algebraic geometry books I have seen which cover schemes seem to leave out essential motivation for definitions. As a test case, look at Hartshorne's definition of a separated morphism:
*Let $f:X \rightarrow Y$ be a morphism of schemes. The diagonal morphism is the unique morphism $\Delta: X \rightarrow X \times_Y X$ whose composition with both projection maps $\rho_1,\rho_2: X \times_Y X \rightarrow X$ is the identity map of $X$. We say that the morphism $f$ is separated if the diagonal morphism is a closed immersion.*
Hartshorne refers vaguely to the fact that this corresponds to some sort of "Hausdorff" condition for schemes, and then gives one example where this seems to meet up with our intuition. There is (at least for me) little motivation for why anyone would have made this definition in the first place.
In this case, and I would suspect many other cases in algebraic geometry, I think the definition actually came about from taking a topological or geometric idea, translating the statement into one which only depends on morphisms (a more category theoretic statement), and then using this new definition for schemes.
For example translating the definition of a separated morphism into one for topological spaces, it is easy to see why someone would have made the original definition. Use the same definition, but say topological spaces instead of schemes, and say "image is closed" instead of closed immersion, i.e.
*Let $f:X \rightarrow Y$ be a morphism of topological spaces. The diagonal morphism is the unique morphism $\Delta: X \rightarrow X \times_Y X$ whose composition with both projection maps $\rho_1,\rho_2: X \times_Y X \rightarrow X$ is the identity map of $X$. We say that the morphism $f$ is separated if the image of the diagonal morphism is closed.*
After unpacking this definition a little bit, we see that a morphism $f$ of topological spaces is separated iff any two distinct points which are identified by $f$ can be separated by disjoint open sets in $X$. A space $X$ is Hausdorff iff the unique morphism $X \rightarrow 1$ is separated.
So here, the topological definition of separated morphism seems like the most natural way to give a morphism a "Hausdorff" kind of property, and translating it with only very minor tweaking gives us the "right notion" for schemes.
Is there any book which does this kind of thing for the rest of scheme theory?
Are people just expected to make these kinds of analogies on their own, or glean them from their professors?
I am not entirely sure what kind of posts should be community wiki - is this one of them?