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What is a Higher-Level Set?†

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ABSTRACTStructuralist foundations of mathematics aim for an ‘invariant’ conception of mathematics. But what should be their basic objects? Two leading answers emerge: higher groupoids or higher categories. I argue in favor of the former over the latter. First, I explain why to choose between them we need to ask the question of what is the correct ‘categorified’ version of a set. Second, I argue in favor of groupoids over categories as ‘categorified’ sets by introducing a pre-formal understanding of groupoids as abstract shapes. This conclusion lends further support to the perspective taken by the Univalent Foundations of mathematics.

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News source: Philosophia Mathematica Current Issue

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