The word category (from Greek κατηγορια meaning "assertion" or "accusation") has several meanings:

  • it is used informally to mean a class of things, as in "the category of all living things"
  • in philosophy:
    • Aristotle classified everything into 10 famous categories
    • others have tried the same, see categories of being
    • Kant uses the word for the preconceived notions we use to organize sense data
  • in mathematics:
    • a collection of mathematical objects of the same kind, together with the structure-preserving maps between them; as in "the category of all topological spaces and continuous maps". These are studied in category theory.
    • in topology, one distinguishes between sets of first and second category; see Baire space.

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