Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Categories: episode two

A copy of Steve Awodey's new Category Theory (Oxford Logic Guides 49) has just been delivered. His preface starts

Why write a new textbook on Category Theory, when we already have Mac Lane's Categories for the Working Mathematician? Simply put, because Mac Lane's book is for the working (and aspiring) mathematician. What is needed now ... is a book for everyone else.

First impressions look very encouraging, though the book covers quite a lot in under 250 pages, judging from the table of contents, so the pace promises to be pretty speedy. (Grumble to OUP: given this is intended to be a textbook for a relatively wide audience, why exactly is it published only in hardback and at the extremely steep price of £65 pounds/$124.50?)

I've just noticed too that Robert Goldblatt's Topoi: The Categorical Analysis of Logic -- which has been out of print for ages -- has been republished by Dover (Amazon have it for £14.63/$19.77 which is a bargain for a book twice the length of Awodey's). I found before that Goldblatt's book starts pretty gently in a very helpful way, even though it seems to accelerate a bit alarmingly after the first three chapters. Anyway, my plan of action now is to parallel-process Goldblatt, Awodey, and Lawvere/Rosebrugh. Watch this space for further reports!

(Mmm, I hope that one or two greedy booksellers on abebooks.com who have been trying to sell on second-hand copies of Topoi for quite extortionate prices up to $500 have just found themselves stuck with now unwanted stock!)

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