, Volume 170, Issue 1, pp 21–31 | Cite as

On three arguments against categorical structuralism

  • Makmiller Pedroso


Some mathematicians and philosophers contend that set theory plays a foundational role in mathematics. However, the development of category theory during the second half of the twentieth century has encouraged the view that this theory can provide a structuralist alternative to set-theoretical foundations. Against this tendency, criticisms have been made that category theory depends on set-theoretical notions and, because of this, category theory fails to show that set-theoretical foundations are dispensable. The goal of this paper is to show that these criticisms are misguided by arguing that category theory is entirely autonomous from set theory.


Set theory Category theory Foundation of mathematics Categorical structuralism 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of PhilosophyUniversity of CalgaryAlbertaCanada

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