The gentle art of levitation

James Chapman, Pierre-Evariste Dagand, Conor Mcbride, Peter Morris

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution book

38 Citations (Scopus)


We present a closed dependent type theory whose inductive types are given not by a scheme for generative declarations, but by encoding in a universe. Each inductive datatype arises by interpreting its description - a first-class value in a datatype of descriptions. Moreover, the latter itself has a description. Datatype-generic programming thus becomes ordinary programming. We show some of the resulting generic operations and deploy them in particular, useful ways on the datatype of datatype descriptions itself. Simulations in existing systems suggest that this apparently self-supporting setup is achievable without paradox or infinite regress.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICFP 2010 Proceedings of the 15th ACM SIGPLAN international conference on functional programming
EditorsPaul Hudak
Place of PublicationNew York
Number of pages12
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventICFP 2010 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: 27 Sept 2010 → …


ConferenceICFP 2010
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Period27/09/10 → …


  • programming
  • dependent type theory
  • datatype-generic programming


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