- (mathematics) A branch of mathematics which deals with spaces and maps between them in abstraction, taking similar theorems from various disparate more concrete branches of mathematics and unifying them.
1984, Robert Goldblatt, Topoi, the categorial analysis of logic, page 3:
- As mentioned earlier set theory provides a general conceptual framework for mathematics. Now, since category theory, through the notion of topos, has succeeded in axiomatising set-theory, the outcome is an entirely new categorial foundation of mathematics! The category-theorists attitude that "function" rather than "set membership" can be seen as the fundamental mathematical concept has been entirely vindicated. The pre-eminent role of set theory in contemporary mathematics is suddenly challenged. A revolution has occurred in the history of mathematical ideas (albeit a peaceful one) that will undoubtedly influence the direction of the path to the future.
branch of mathematics