Category theory

the category theory originates from the antique literature science and decreases/goes back to texts of Aristoteles , which tried to divide existing writings for the first time into different categories.

In German an understanding problem results from the fact that both the terms category and kind to be used, depending upon context however different meaning possess. Thus the English category is translated in German with kind and vice versa, depending upon context and author can accept the two terms however diverging meanings. Inthe film science usually speaks one of category and means with it thematically connected groups of films such as Western or thrillers, in the literature science is against it usually from kinds the speech. This separation is however everything else as strict: Like that is it it in the German-language film science quite usually to bezeichen “large” groups such as play or documentary film as kind; into the Germanistik again also the expression “category” comes to the employment, usually as name for particularly strongly typed, commercially aligned literature kinds outsideor at the edge of the literature canon. The physician novel is for example typical category literature, which novel called against it kind. It applies also here that the distinction is not by any means everywhere made. It is quite permissible to call the detective story kind; thatNovel with category to call, is uncommon against it. In English again category possesses just as broad meaning as kind in German; Gothic Novel, romance or poetry are category. The different linguistic usage leads pretty often to confusion; for English-language ones placesthe statement, nonfiction the film is not a category, a problem, in the German-language context leads this statement against it usually to violent discussions, because category is normally understood here as the smaller unit.


in 19. and 20. Centurythe theory was taken up again strengthened and developed themselves further in different directions, the difficulty thereby remained however always the same: How one wants to determine, to which category a work belongs, if a category is only a canon of works, thoseone more or less arbitrarily to specify must, since a complete description of all characteristics of a category cannot be deduced or only from the works themselves (those to the time still not at all to the category to belong).

An example: Ifone says, twelve o'clock at noon is a Western, then one says with the fact that the film divides certain characteristics, structures or courses of action with other films, which must likewise be then Western. The problem consists however of the fact that twelve o'clock at noon with for example for a handful dollar probably, other one does not divide some characteristics (structure, actions) however again. Nevertheless one could call both films Western. Glorious filters is a further ark-typical Western, which quite shows thing in common with the other two,become however clearly “smaller”. One can continue this comparison procedure arbitrarily for a long time, until not one characteristic agrees sometime more, which actually occurs in all “Western”. The problem is simple that one cannot say game game west is a Western,because it has these or those thing in common with twelve o'clock at noon, because one raises twelve o'clock thereby in the reason arbitrarily at noon to the measuring pole of all Western. This would mean however that each film, which exhibits enough thing in common with it automatically asWestern applies - while all films, which do not do this, would be automatically no Western. Last end each film is designated compared with other films than more belonging to the category, it gives thus no firm base factor, there in such a way specified“Classical authors of the category” also only compared with other films were designated of somebody once than “Western”, in a more or less coincidental and thus arbitrary way.

Which is added as difficulty, it is that each new work in a category naturallyand omits old introduces new elements either or uminterpretiert. If it would not do that, it would be foreseeable and plateful, since its public links certain expectations with the category term. If they all are fulfilled, the work is stereotyped, all is disappointed,then it is more or less incomprehensible.

A further example: If the public with the knowledge goes seeing a Western into the cinema then it will bring along a certain expectation concerning contents and the form, those by earlier filmswere developed. If two men on the road face each other, the public will count similar expectations for example on a shooting, with other action patterns gives it. If they all are fulfilled, the film is according to a static definition a magnifying glass-pure Western,but no large cash success determines, since the public bores itself sometime.

dependence on historical processes

if a new category work thus inevitably new elements to bring in must, changes the definition of a category in the course of the time. Category are therefore strongly historical processes subjected and always refer to already existing works, new can them not completely describe. During these processes also social changes play an important role, since the consent is over a category in the long run a social consent.

Example: Long time in Western films Indians were shown only as primitive rogues, which fell in masses over harmless settlers and were driven out in the last moment of the Kavallerie (which in parts an allusion on the cold war andthe associated “red danger” represents). Films such as Little bend one or with the wolf dances changed in a new social surrounding field this picture, and assigned to the natives a new place.

Different parties carry thus for education andAdvancement of category: Once the producer and the author, who have a certain aspect on category structures and on the reaction of the public, constructed on the other hand the public, a training and thus an expectation attitude and not leastthe critics, who serve the development as engine and which supply analytic background.

The category theory concerns itself with all these questions and has complex explanation systems sketched, nevertheless remains many questions openly, for example in accordance with the relationship of author andCategory.

see also


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