FOM: Question: why is category theory viewed as relativism?

Michael Thayer mthayer at
Tue Mar 10 22:35:40 EST 1998

There seems to be an understanding on fom that Category Theory offers only a
"relativist" f.o.m.

What is the reason for this view?  The only argument I have seen seems to be
that there is no specific topos offered as a foundation for analysis.  How
does this differ from the discredited view that set theory does not offer a
foundation for analysis, because there is no distinguished notion of natural
number. (The tired old "is e a member of pi" objection).  I understand why
relativist foundations is an oxymoron, and I don't wish to defend
post-modernism or whatever on this list.   Just an answer to a simple


Michael Thayer
Telephony/Speech Software Inc.

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