I was watching this series of lectures on universal algebra on YouTube and the instructor, Charlotte Aten, mentioned that Øystein Ore studied lattices with the goal of using lattices as a unifying abstraction for mathematical structures. I don't remember which exact lecture she said this in, but she compares the goals of the lattice-based approach with category theory, which has been successful as a unifying abstraction.

I'm curious what the "lattice program" (so to speak) achieved, how it was perceived at the time, where it got stuck, and how it ended.


1 Answer 1


I'm the same Charlotte Aten you were watching on YouTube. I had intended to make this a comment and not an answer (since I don't think I can provide a complete one), but since I just joined this StackExchange community for the purpose of responding to this I don't have that ability here yet.

In any case, the main source I have for that story is the book «Modern Algebra and the Rise of Mathematical Structures» by Leo Corry. I don't remember how much depth the author goes into about the short-lived program of Ore's. I think that it was mainly just presented to set the stage for a much more detailed discussion of the history of category theory and as a kind of segue away from abstract/universal algebra. You may be able to find more information in the copious references in that book.

  • $\begingroup$ I think it is one of the coolest features of Stack Exchange that, sometimes, the person that inspired someone to ask a question comes along an answers it themselves (even if the answer is not complete). $\endgroup$
    – Danu
    Aug 7, 2021 at 16:14

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.