A Higher Structure Identity Principle

Benedikt Ahrens, Paige Randall North, Michael Shulman, Dimitris Tsementzis

Research output: Working paperPreprintAcademic


The ordinary Structure Identity Principle states that any property of set-level structures (e.g., posets, groups, rings, fields) definable in Univalent Foundations is invariant under isomorphism: more specifically, identifications of structures coincide with isomorphisms. We prove a version of this principle for a wide range of higher-categorical structures, adapting FOLDS-signatures to specify a general class of structures, and using two-level type theory to treat all categorical dimensions uniformly. As in the previously known case of 1-categories (which is an instance of our theory), the structures themselves must satisfy a local univalence principle, stating that identifications coincide with "isomorphisms" between elements of the structure. Our main technical achievement is a definition of such isomorphisms, which we call "indiscernibilities", using only the dependency structure rather than any notion of composition.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 14 Apr 2020


  • math.LO
  • cs.LO
  • math.CT


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