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Locally cartesian closed categories and type theory

  • R. A. G. Seely (a1)

It is well known that for much of the mathematics of topos theory, it is in fact sufficient to use a category C whose slice categories C/A are cartesian closed. In such a category, the notion of a ‘generalized set’, for example an ‘A-indexed set’, is represented by a morphism BA of C, i.e. by an object of C/A. The point about such a category C is that C is a C-indexed category, and more, is a hyper-doctrine, so that it has a full first order logic associated with it. This logic has some peculiar aspects. For instance, the types are the objects of C and the terms are the morphisms of C. For a given type A, the predicates with a free variable of type A are morphisms into A, and ‘proofs’ are morphisms over A. We see here a certain ‘ambiguity’ between the notions of type, predicate, and term, of object and proof: a term of type A is a morphism into A, which is a predicate over A; a morphism 1 → A can be viewed either as an object of type A or as a proof of the proposition A.

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Mathematical Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society
  • ISSN: 0305-0041
  • EISSN: 1469-8064
  • URL: /core/journals/mathematical-proceedings-of-the-cambridge-philosophical-society
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