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Dr. Eugenia Cheng at Lambda World 2017


Category Theory in Life

Category theory can be thought of as being ‘very abstract algebra’. It is thought of as ‘too abstract’ by some people, and as ‘abstract nonsense’ by some others. In this talk, I will show that while it is abstract, it is far from being nonsense. I will argue that the abstraction has a purpose and that broad applicability is one of the powerful consequences. To demonstrate this, I will show how I apply concepts of category theory to important questions of life such as prejudice, privilege, blame and responsibility. I will introduce the category theory concepts from scratch so no prior knowledge is needed. These concepts will include objects and morphisms, isomorphisms and universal properties.

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