Basically, how much math background do you need to understand how category theory is applied to Haskell? If you already have mathematical maturity, can you jump right into it, or should you be familiar with certain subjects in algebra?

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    $\begingroup$ understand is a vague word. What is your context? Do you know some Haskell and want to know it better, or are you asking this before you started learning? Does the subject of category theory itself interests you, or are you mostly interested in its application? $\endgroup$ Nov 3, 2013 at 17:08
  • $\begingroup$ I want to learn about Haskell and category theory but I have just heard about them, and I'm also interested in how category theory was used to develop concepts in Haskell such as monads, and why it's needed. I have a couple of resources about this that I'm about to open up, so I'm wondering if I need an advanced mathematical background to get how category theory is applied. $\endgroup$
    – user105098
    Nov 3, 2013 at 17:16
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    $\begingroup$ I would strongly suggest learning Haskell before trying to get into category theory. $\endgroup$ Nov 3, 2013 at 17:42
  • $\begingroup$ I think this question has already been answered in cs.stackexchange.com/questions/3028/…. Please see the answers there. $\endgroup$
    – Uday Reddy
    Apr 6, 2014 at 14:35

1 Answer 1


The first step is to learn category theory without regards to Haskell (and if you don't have it, Haskell without regards to category theory). A book such as Lawvere's Conceptual Mathematics is a good start. Awodey is also recommended, and Leinster's recent Basic Category Theory.


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