# Questions tagged [higher-category-theory]

For questions involving one or more categorical dimensions, or involving homotopy coherent categorical structures.

676 questions
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### What is the mistake in the proof of the Homotopy hypothesis by Kapranov and Voevodsky?

In 1991, Kapranov and Voevodsky published a proof of a now famously false result, roughly saying that the homotopy category of spaces is equivalent to the homotopy category of strict infinity ...
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### Is Mac Lane still the best place to learn category theory?

For a student embarking on a study of algebraic topology, requiring a knowledge of basic category theory, with a long-term view toward higher/stable/derived category theory, ... Is Mac Lane still ...
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### What are Jacob Lurie's key insights?

This question is inspired by this Tim Gowers blogpost. I have some familiarity with the work of Jacob Lurie, which contains ideas which are simply astounding; but what I don't understand is which key ...
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### Why higher category theory?

This is a soft question. I am an undergrad and is currently seriously considering the field of math I am going into in grad school. (perhaps a little bit late, but it's better late then never.) I ...
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### Is there an accepted definition of $(\infty,\infty)$ category?

For probably twenty years, category theorists have known of some objects in the Platonic universe called "(weak) $\infty$-categories", in which there are $k$-morphisms for all $k\in \mathbb N$, with ...
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### What is Homology anyway?

Disclaimer: I don't feel qualified to ask this question and yet it's been troubling me for some time now and I lost my patience and decided to ask to get some kind of answer. If there are any stupid ...
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### Do we still need model categories?

One modern POV on model categories is that they are presentations of $(\infty, 1)$-categories (namely, given a model category, you obtain an $\infty$-category by localizing at the category of weak ...
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### Are higher categories useful?

Of course, personally, I think the answer is a big Yes! However once, a while ago, while giving a talk about higher category theory, I was asked a question about whether higher category theory was ...
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### What did Gelfand mean by suggesting to study “Heredity Principle” structures instead of categories?

Israel Gelfand wrote in his remarkable talk "Mathematics as an adequate language (a few remarks)", given at "The Unity of Mathematics" Conference in honor of his 90th birthday, the following ...
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### Non-examples of model structures, that fail for subtle/surprising reasons?

An often-cited principle of good mathematical exposition is that a definition should always come with a few examples and a few non-examples to help the learner get an intuition for where the concept's ...
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### What's there to do in category theory?

Disclaimer: I posted this question on MSE only a few days ago; and received very few comments. I know that the etiquette is to wait a bit more than that before moving a post from MSE to MO, but I ...
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### What parts of the theory of quasicategories have been simplified since the publication of HTT?

It has been almost ten years since Lurie published Higher Topos Theory, where (following Joyal and probably others) he set up foundations for higher category theory via quasicategories. My impression ...
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### Is there anything to the obvious analogy between Joyal's combinatorial species and Goodwillie calculus?

Combinatorial species and calculus of functors both take the viewpoint that many interesting functors can be expanded in a kind of Taylor series. Many operations familiar from actual calculus can be ...
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### Invertible matrices of natural numbers are permutations… why?

I have heard the following statement several times and I suspect that there is an easy and elegant proof of this fact which I am just not seeing. Question: Why is it true that an invertible nxn ...
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### How do you define (infinity,1) categories in Homotopy Type Theory?

One of the major motivations of Homotopy Type Theory is that it naturally builds in higher coherences from the beginning. One important setting where higher coherence requirements get annoying is ...
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### What is an $(\infty,1)$-topos, and why is this a good setting for doing differential geometry?

In this post on the n-Category Café, Urs Schreiber says that, "The theory of G-principal bundles makes sense in any $(\infty,1)$-topos." I followed the link to the nLab and tried to chase definitions, ...
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### What is the relationship between connective and nonconnective derived algebraic geometry?

"Derived algebraic geometry" usually means the study of geometry locally modeled on "$Spec R$" where $R$ is a connective $E_\infty$ ring spectrum (perhaps with further restrictions). Why "connective", ...
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### n-categorical description of Chern classes

The Chern classes of a rank $n$ vector bundle on $X$ are obtained from composing the associated classifying map in $[X, BU(n)]$ with the maps $BU(n) \to B^{2i} \mathbb{Z}$ corresponding to the ...
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### Homotopy groups of spheres in a $(\infty, 1)$-topos

Let $H$ be an $(\infty,1)$-topos (seen as a generalization of the homotopy category of spaces). You can define the suspension of an object $X$ as the (homotopy) pushout of $*\leftarrow X \to *$, ...
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### t-structures and higher categories?

I'm curious to find out where the viewpoint of higher categories may be useful so here is a somewhat vague question (which may or may not have a reasonable answer). Given a triangulated category, one ...
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### Derived Algebraic Geometry and Chow Rings/Chow Motives

I recently heard a talk about Chow motives and also read Milne's exposition on motives. If I understand it correctly, the naive definition of the Chow ring would be that it simply consists of all ...
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### generalisations of the Seifert-van Kampen Theorem?

I have been reading Jacob Lurie's book "Higher Algebra", version May 8, 2011. One is grateful to him for covering such a lot of ground and for making it all so readily available. My attention was ...
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### What's the current state of the classification of not-fully-extended TQFTs?

Recall that a $(k,k+1,\dots,k+n)$-TQFT is (supposed to be) a functor from the $n$-category whose $j$-morphisms are (isomorphism classes of) compact $(k+j)$-dimensional manifolds with boundary to some ...
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### Conjectures in Grothendieck's “Pursuing stacks”

I read on the nLab that in "Pursuing stacks" Grothendieck made several interesting conjectures, some of which have been proved since then. For example, as David Roberts wrote in answer to this ...
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### Concrete example of $\infty$-categories

I've seen many different notions of $\infty$-categories: actually I've seen the operadic-globular ones of Batanin and Leinster, and the opetopic, and eventually I'll see the simplicial ones too. ...
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### Current status of Grothendieck's homotopy hypothesis and Whitehead's algebraic homotopy programme

(Disclaimer: I'm no expert in homotopy theory nor in higher categories!) If I understand it correctly, Grothendieck's homotopy hypothesis states that there should be an equivalence (of $(n+1)$-...
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### Is Lemma A.1.5.7 in Higher Topos Theory correct?

Hello to everyone, I am studying the properties of combinatorial model categories, following the exposition given by Jacob Lurie in Higher Topos Theory ([HTT] from now on), in section A.2.6. At some ...
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### Homology theory constructed in a homotopy-invariant way

Singular homology sends homotopic morphisms on equal morphisms and weakly equivalent spaces on isomorphic objects. So singular homology is in fact defined on the homotopy category of topological ...
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### Can equivalences be strictified to isomorphisms?

In category theory there are lots of examples of isomorphisms that cannot be strictified to become identities. For instance, every monoidal category is equivalent to a strict monoidal category, where ...
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### How to stop worrying about enriched categories?

Recently I realized that ordinary category theory is not a suitable language for a big portion of the math I'm having a hard time with these days. One thing in common to all my examples is that they ...
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### Explicit Left Adjoint to Forgetful Functor from Cartesian to Symmetric Monoidal Categories

There is a forgetful functor from the category of (small) Cartesian monoidal categories (a symmetric monoidal category in which the tensor product is given by the categorical product) to the category ...
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### categorical characterization of large cardinals

Question 1. Is there a categorical representation of Kunen's inconsistency result? Question 2. Is there a categorical characterization of very large cardinals (in particular for strong and ...
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### Homotopy-theoretic derived Morita equivalences

Recall that two $k$-algebras $A, B$ are Morita equivalent iff their categories of left modules are equivalent. However, this relation turns out to be rather fine and one introduces a coarser ...
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### What do whitehead towers have to do with physics?

First let me say something that I don't completely understand, since I do not know enough physics. If I say anything wrong, someone please tell me: For the spinning particle, there is a sigma-model, ...
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### Limitations on model-categorical presentations

In higher category theory, it is common that a weak structure cannot be strictified in all directions simultaneously. For instance, a monoidal category is not (in general) equivalent to one that is ...
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### What is Chern-Simons theory expected to assign to a point?

Let $G$ be a compact, connected, (simply connected?) Lie group and let $k \in H^4(BG, \mathbb{Z})$ be a cohomology class. Witten showed, at a physical level of rigor, that this data determines a $3$-...
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### Spectral algebraic geometry vs derived algebraic geometry in positive characteristic?

Let $R$ be a commutative ring. Then there is a forgetful functor from the $\infty$-category of simplicial commutative $R$-algebras to the $\infty$-category of connective $E_{\infty}$-algebras over $R$....
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### Examples of $(\infty,1)$-topoi that are not given as sheaves on a Grothendieck topology

An $(\infty,1)$-topos according to Lurie is defined as (accessible) left exact localization of a presheaf $(\infty,1)$-category $\text{P}(\mathcal C)$. Those $(\infty,1)$-topoi $\text{Sh}(\mathcal C)$ ...
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### What's with equivariant homotopy theory over a compact Lie group?

For some reason -- I'm not quite sure why -- I've developed the impression that I'm supposed to "tiptoe" around equivariant homotopy theory over groups that are not finite. Should I? Let me explain. ...