Category theory formalizes mathematical structure and its concepts in terms of a labeled directed graph called a category, whose nodes are called objects, and whose labelled directed edges are called arrows (or morphisms). A category has two basic properties: the ability to compose the arrows associatively, and the existence of an identity arrow for each object.
To each species of mathematical structure, there corresponds a category whose objects have that structure, and whose morphisms respect [preserve] it.
To any natural construction on structures of one species, yielding structures of another species, there corresponds a functor from the category of the first species to the category of the second.
For example, in the category of types in a programming language, type constructors are endo-functors, and endo-functors are often containers.
Functor can also be called natural-construction, which will let the term
NaturalTransformation make sense.
To each natural translation, from a construction
F : A -> B, to a construction
G : A -> B, there corresponds a natural transformation
F => G.
This captures the concept of "natural translation".
The naturality condition of natural-transformation state squares commute.
Which can be viewed as stating that the arrows in the two embeddings are "orthogonal" to the transforming arrows.
This concept was the historical origin of category theory, since Eilenberg and MacLane (1945) used it to formalise the notion of an equivalence of homology theories,
and then found that for this definition to make sense, they had to define functors,
(A homology theory is a functor.)
and for functors to make sense, they had to define categories.
(A homology theory is a functor, from the category of topology spaces to the category of abelian-groups.)
Two objects have the same structure iff they are isomorphic, and an "abstract object" is an isomorphism class of objects.
A diagram D in a category C can be seen as a system of constraints, and then a limit of D represents all possible solutions of the system.
To any canonical construction from one species of structure to another corresponds an adjunction between the corresponding categories.
This captures the concept of "canonical construction".
Comma categories are another basic construction that first appeared in lawvere's thesis.
They tend to arise when morphisms are used as objects.