**Proof.**
As explained in the text following Definition 4.21.2, we may view preordered sets as categories and systems as functors. Throughout the proof, we will freely shift between these two points of view. We prove the first statement by constructing a category $\mathcal{I}_0$, corresponding to a directed set^{1}, and a cofinal functor $M_0 : \mathcal{I}_0 \to \mathcal{I}$. Then, by Lemma 4.17.2, the colimit of a diagram $M : \mathcal{I} \to \mathcal{C}$ coincides with the colimit of the diagram $M \circ M_0 | \mathcal{I}_0 \to \mathcal{C}$, from which the statement follows. The second statement is dual to the first and may be proved by interpreting a limit in $\mathcal{C}$ as a colimit in $\mathcal{C}^{opp}$. We omit the details.

A category $\mathcal{F}$ is called *finitely generated* if there exists a finite set $F$ of arrows in $\mathcal{F}$, such that each arrow in $\mathcal{F}$ may be obtained by composing arrows from $F$. In particular, this implies that $\mathcal{F}$ has finitely many objects. We start the proof by reducing to the case when $\mathcal{I}$ has the property that every finitely generated subcategory of $\mathcal{I}$ may be extended to a finitely generated subcategory with a unique final object.

Let $\omega $ denote the directed set of finite ordinals, which we view as a filtered category. It is easy to verify that the product category $\mathcal{I}\times \omega $ is also filtered, and the projection $\Pi : \mathcal{I} \times \omega \to \mathcal{I}$ is cofinal.

Now let $\mathcal{F}$ be any finitely generated subcategory of $\mathcal{I}\times \omega $. By using the axioms of a filtered category and a simple induction argument on a finite set of generators of $\mathcal{F}$, we may construct a cocone $(\{ f_ i\} , i_\infty )$ in $\mathcal{I}$ for the diagram $\mathcal{F} \to \mathcal{I}$. That is, a morphism $f_ i : i \to i_\infty $ for every object $i$ in $\mathcal{F}$ such that for each arrow $f : i \to i'$ in $\mathcal{F}$ we have $f_ i = f\circ f_{i'}$. We can also choose $i_\infty $ such that there are no arrows from $i_\infty $ to an object in $\mathcal{F}$. This is possible since we may always post-compose the arrows $f_ i$ with an arrow which is the identity on the $\mathcal{I}$-component and strictly increasing on the $\omega $-component. Now let $\mathcal{F}^+$ denote the category consisting of all objects and arrows in $\mathcal{F}$ together with the object $i_\infty $, the identity arrow $\text{id}_{i_\infty }$ and the arrows $f_ i$. Since there are no arrows from $i_\infty $ in $\mathcal{F}^+$ to any object of $\mathcal{F}$, the arrow set in $\mathcal{F}^+$ is closed under composition, so $\mathcal{F}^+$ is indeed a category. By construction, it is a finitely generated subcategory of $\mathcal{I}$ which has $i_\infty $ as unique final object. Since, by Lemma 4.17.2, the colimit of any diagram $M : \mathcal{I} \to \mathcal{C}$ coincides with the colimit of $M\circ \Pi $ , this gives the desired reduction.

The set of all finitely generated subcategories of $\mathcal{I}$ with a unique final object is naturally ordered by inclusion. We take $\mathcal{I}_0$ to be the category corresponding to this set. We also have a functor $M_0 : \mathcal{I}_0 \to \mathcal{I}$, which takes an arrow $\mathcal{F} \subset \mathcal{F'}$ in $\mathcal{I}_0$ to the unique map from the final object of $\mathcal{F}$ to the final object of $\mathcal{F}'$. Given any two finitely generated subcategories of $\mathcal{I}$, the category generated by these two categories is also finitely generated. By our assumption on $\mathcal{I}$, it is also contained in a finitely generated subcategory of $\mathcal{I}$ with a unique final object. This shows that $\mathcal{I}_0$ is directed.

Finally, we verify that $M_0$ is cofinal. Since any object of $\mathcal{I}$ is the final object in the subcategory consisting of only that object and its identity arrow, the functor $M_0$ is surjective on objects. In particular, Condition (1) of Definition 4.17.1 is satisfied. Given an object $i$ of $\mathcal{I}$, $\mathcal{F}_1, \mathcal{F}_2$ in $\mathcal{I}_0$ and maps $\varphi _1 : i \to M_0(\mathcal{F}_1)$ and $\varphi _2 : i \to M_0(\mathcal{F}_2)$ in $\mathcal{I}$, we can take $\mathcal{F}_{12}$ to be a finitely generated category with a unique final object containing $\mathcal{F}_1$, $\mathcal{F}_2$ and the morphisms $\varphi _1, \varphi _2$. The resulting diagram commutes

\[ \xymatrix{ & M_0(\mathcal{F}_{12}) & \\ M_0(\mathcal{F}_{1}) \ar[ru] & & M_0(\mathcal{F}_{2}) \ar[lu] \\ & i \ar[lu] \ar[ru] } \]

since it lives in the category $\mathcal{F}_{12}$ and $M_0(\mathcal{F}_{12})$ is final in this category. Hence also Condition (2) is satisfied, which concludes the proof.
$\square$

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