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Questions tagged [ct.category-theory]

Categories and functors, universal properties, algebras and algebraic theories, topoi, enriched and internal categories, structured categories (abelian, monoidal, etc), higher categories.

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Tannakian Formalism

The Tannakian formalism says you can recover a complex algebraic group from its category of finite dimensional representations, the tensor structure, and the forgetful functor to Vect. Intuitively, ...
12
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1answer
2k views

How should we define “locally small”?

Let U be a Grothendieck universe, and U+ its successor universe (assume Grothendieck's universe axiom). Everybody agrees that a U-small category is a category whose sets of objects and morphisms are ...
6
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3answers
340 views

What kind of operations does the Tall-Wraith monoid encode?

According to the nLab page, for an algebraic theory V a Tall–Wraith V-monoid is "the kind of thing that acts on V-algebras". Well, it certainly does act on V-algebras, but in which sense is it "the ...
13
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2answers
861 views

Recovering a monoidal category from its category of monoids

What kind of additional properties and/or structures one needs to impose on the category of (commutative or noncommutative) monoids of some monoidal category so that one can recover the original ...
25
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4answers
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Are there two groups which are categorically Morita equivalent but only one of which is simple

Can you find two finite groups G and H such that their representation categories are Morita equivalent (which is to say that there's an invertible bimodule category over these two monoidal categories) ...
25
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6answers
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What's a reasonable category that is not locally small?

Recall that a category C is small if the class of its morphisms is a set; otherwise, it is large. One of many examples of a large category is Set, for Russell's paradox reasons. A category C is ...
7
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3answers
460 views

internal homs and adjunctions?

This is probably an easy question. Let C be a category with (finite) products. An internal hom in C category is an object uhom(X, Z) which represents the functor: Y |-----> hom(Y x X, Z) here "...
96
votes
11answers
22k views

“Philosophical” meaning of the Yoneda Lemma

The Yoneda Lemma is a simple result of category theory, and its proof is very straightforward. Yet I feel like I do not truly understand what it is about; I have seen a few comments here mentioning ...
13
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5answers
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Presheaves as limits of representable functors?

If i remember correctly, i read that given a presheaf P:C^op -> Set it is possible to describe it as a limit of representable presheaves. Could someone give a description of the construction together ...
24
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4answers
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(∞, 1)-categorical description of equivariant homotopy theory

I'm trying to learn a bit about equivariant homotopy theory. Let G be a compact Lie group. I guess there is a cofibrantly generated model category whose objects are (compactly generated weak ...
9
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3answers
909 views

When does Tannakian theory work over affine schemes besides fields?

By 'work' I would like the correspondence between fiber functors (to finitely generated projective modules) and algebraic groups to be the same as in the field case. Specifically, if $A$ is an affine ...
7
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4answers
2k views

Prestacks and fibered categories

It seems to be a well-known fact that there is a ``one-to-one correspondence'' between prestacks and fibered categories. Here a prestack (called a pseudo-functor in SGA1) means a contravariant lax ...
16
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2answers
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What's an example of an “adjunction up to adjunction”?

(There are several dialects of 2-categorical language. Mine is the one where everything is weak by default. You might need to insert the word "weak" or "pseudo" (or even "strong", if your default is ...
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7answers
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In what sense are fields an algebraic theory?

Since there is no "free field generated by a set", it would seem that 1) there is no monad on Set whose algebras are exactly the fields and 2) there is no Lawvere theory whose models in Set are ...
7
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4answers
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Localization(s) of Categories

I've been trying to read a paper by Krause and came across a strange (to me, of course) notion of localization. After looking around for a long time, and then finding this on his site, I see that ...
85
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11answers
8k views

Why do Groups and Abelian Groups feel so different?

Groups are naturally "the symmetries of an object". To me, the group axioms are just a way of codifying what the symmetries of an object can be so we can study it abstractly. However, this heuristic ...
33
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6answers
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Why does non-abelian group cohomology exist?

If $K$ is a non-abelian group on which a group $G$ acts via automorphisms, we can define 1-cocycles and 1-coboundaries by mimicking the explicit formulas coming from the bar resolution in ordinary ...
35
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5answers
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Several Topos theory questions

Hey. I have a few off the wall questions about topos theory and algebraic geometry. Do the following few sentences make sense? Every scheme X is pinned down by its Hom functor Hom(-,X) by the ...
11
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4answers
4k views

Why do I find Category Theory mostly just a way to make simple things difficult?

I have a basic working knowledge of category thoery since I do research in programming languages and typed lambda-calculus. Indeed, I have refereed many papers in my area based on category theory. ...
8
votes
2answers
519 views

Which commutative rigs arise from a distributive category?

A rig is an algebraic object with multiplication and addition, such that multiplication distributes over addition and addition is commutative. However, instead of requiring that the set forms an ...
13
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2answers
2k views

Exactness of filtered colimits

Are filtered colimits exact in all abelian categories? In Set, filtered colimits commute with finite limits. The proof carries over to categories sufficiently like Set (i.e. where you can chase ...
9
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7answers
2k views

Can the Category of Schemes be Concretized?

If not, are there any interesting subcategories that can be concertized? If I am not mistaken, the category of reduced finite type varieties over the complex numbers would be an example, where the ...
4
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7answers
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What can't be described by categories?

I've been reading some "introduction to categories" type materials and have been impressed with the all-encompassing nature, but the skeptic in me wonders: is there any mathematical object that ...
8
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1answer
436 views

Determinant of a pullback diagram

Suppose that X and Y are finite sets and that f : X → Y is an arbitrary map. Let PB denote the pullback of f with itself (in the category of sets) as displayed by the commutative diagram PB &...
47
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4answers
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Does “finitely presented” mean “always finitely presented”? (Answered: Yes!)

Precisely, if an R-module M has a finite presentation, and Rk → M is some unrelated surjection (k finite), is the kernel necessarily also finitely generated? Basically I want to believe I can ...
7
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2answers
695 views

Is there a free digraph associated to a graph?

A little bit of background: A graph G is, of course, a set of vertices V(G) and a multiset of edges, which are unordered pairs of (not necessarily distinct) vertices. We say that two vertices v_1, v_2 ...
13
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3answers
857 views

Categorifying the Reals via von Neumann Algebras?

So one way to categorify the natural numbers is to replace them with vector spaces. Then the dimension of the vector space reproduces the natural number. More generally you can categorify integers to ...
20
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4answers
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Is there a “universal group object”? (answered: yes!)

I want to say that a group object in a category (e.g. a discrete group, topological group, algebraic group...) is the image under a product-preserving functor of the "group object diagram", $D$. One ...
7
votes
2answers
480 views

Base change for category objects in topological spaces

I was prompted by this question, but the motivation is different. Suppose we have an internal category object in topological spaces, i.e. an object space X and a morphism space Y, together with ...
2
votes
2answers
314 views

Can the objects of every concrete category themselves be realized as small categories?

More precisely, is every concrete category C isomorphic to a category C' of small categories such that the morphisms between two elements of C are precisely the functors between their images in C'? ...
20
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13answers
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Category theory sans (much) motivation?

So I have a friend (no, really) who's taking algebra and is struggling to gain intuition for it. My story is as follows: I used to hate abstract algebra, with pretty much a burning passion, until I ...
49
votes
22answers
12k views

What's a groupoid? What's a good example of a groupoid? [closed]

Or more specifically, why do people get so excited about them? And what's your favorite easy example of one, which illustrates why I should care (and is not a group)?
5
votes
4answers
996 views

Motivation for coherence axioms

The pentagon and hexagon axioms in the definition of a symmetric monoidal category are one example that I was thinking of here; the axioms of a weak 2-category are another. I understand that it can ...
73
votes
7answers
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When does Cantor-Bernstein hold?

The Cantor-Bernstein theorem in the category of sets (A injects in B, B injects in A => A, B equivalent) holds in other categories such as vector spaces, compact metric spaces, Noetherian topological ...
10
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2answers
985 views

What is the size of the category of finite dimensional F_q vector spaces?

The size of a finite skeletal category C in the sense of Leinster is defined as follows: Label the objects of C by integers 1,2,...,n and let aij be the number of morphisms from i to j (for i and j ...
35
votes
11answers
12k views

Resources for learning practical category theory

I've been doing functional programming, primarily in OCaml, for a couple years now, and have recently ventured into the land of monads. I'm able to work them now, and understand how to use them, but ...
4
votes
2answers
419 views

Embedding abelian categories to have enough projectives

Is it true that the pro-objects of an abelian category form a category with enough projectives? In general, given an abelian category A, is there a canonical way to embed it a bigger abelian ...
4
votes
3answers
924 views

Quotient of a category by a free group action

Let Cat denote the 1-category of small categories. The functor Mor : Cat -> Set which assigns to a category its set of morphisms (aka Hom([• -> •], -)) does not commute with most colimits. ...
15
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2answers
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“synthetic” reasoning applied to algebraic geometry

A hyperlinked and more detailed version of this question is at nLab:synthetic differential geometry applied to algebraic geometry. Repliers are kindly encouraged to copy-and-paste relevant bits of ...
15
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5answers
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Finite groups with the same character table

Say I have two finite groups G and H which aren't isomorphic but have the same character table (for example, the quaternion group and the symmetries of the square). Does this mean that the ...
18
votes
7answers
2k views

Can adjoint linear transformations be naturally realized as adjoint functors?

Last week Yan Zhang asked me the following: is there a way to realize vector spaces as categories so that adjoint functors between pairs of vector spaces become adjoint linear operators in the usual ...
15
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9answers
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References for homotopy colimit

(1) What are some good references for homotopy colimits? (2) Where can I find a reference for the following concrete construction of a homotopy colimit? Start with a partial ordering, which I will ...
18
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5answers
2k views

Derived categories and homotopy categories

There are two constructions that look quite similar to me: the derived category of an abelian category, and the homotopy category of a model category. Is there any explicit relationship between these ...
23
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2answers
2k views

Is every functor a composition of adjoint functors?

My understanding of Ben's answer to this question is that even though associated graded is not an adjoint functor, it's not too bad because it is a composition of a right adjoint and a left adjoint. ...
45
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3answers
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What is Koszul duality?

Okay, let's make sure I'm on the same page with those who know homological algebra. What is Koszul duality in general? What does it mean that categories are Koszul dual (I guess representations of ...
6
votes
4answers
933 views

Are abelian non-degenerate tensor categories semisimple?

A pivotal monoidal category is called non-degenerate if the inner product $\left(x,y\right) = Tr\left(xy^{*}\right)$ (where $y^{*}$ is the dual map) is non-degenerate. As a rule of thumb non-...
4
votes
2answers
341 views

Bi-embeddability vs. isomorphism

Can anybody give me an example of a "naturally-occurring" algebraic category $C$ in which: $C$ has two non-isomorphic objects $A$ and $B$ which are bi-embeddable via monic maps; but $C$ does NOT have ...
6
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2answers
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Is there a category in which finite limits and directed colimits *don't* commute

Andrew Critch asks at the 20-questions seminar: In Set and AbGrp (the categories of sets and abelian groups, respectively), finite limits commute with directed colimits. As an example, if you're ...
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2answers
1k views

Model category structures on categories of complexes in abelian categories

Section 2.3 of Hovey's Model Categories book defines a model category structure on Ch(R-Mod), the category of chain complexes of R-modules, where R is a ring. Lemma 2.3.6 then essentially states (I ...
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1answer
483 views

Is there a good version of Artin-Wedderburn for semisimple algebra objects?

Artin-Wederburn says that if you have a semisimple algebra then it is a product of matrix algebras over division rings. Suppose that $C$ is a fusion category over the complex numbers (if you want to ...