A full and faithful functor is a functor which is both full and faithful. That is, a functor $F\colon C \to D$ from a category $C$ to a category $D$ is called full and faithful if for each pair of objects $x, y \in C$, the function
between hom sets is bijective. “Full and faithful” is sometimes shortened to “fully faithful” or “ff.” See also full subcategory.
It is not sufficient for there simply to exist some isomorphism between $C(x, y)$ and $D(F(x), F(y))$. For instance, consider the category comprising a parallel pair $f, g : x \rightrightarrows y$ and the identity-on-objects endofunctor $F$ sending $f \mapsto f$ and $g \mapsto f$. We have $C(x, y) \cong C(F(x), F(y)) = C(x, y)$, but this functor is not fully faithful.
Together with bijective-on-objects functors, fully faithful functors form an orthogonal factorization system on $Cat$; see bo-ff factorization system. More invariantly, pair them with essentially surjective functors to get a bicategorial factorization system.
In particular, fully faithful functors are stable under pullback.
A fully faithful functor (hence a full subcategory inclusion) reflects all limits and colimits, also all isomorphisms (is a conservative functor). This is evident from inspection of the defining universal property.
Fully faithful functors are closed under pushouts in Cat. For ordinary categories this was proven by Fritch and Latch; for enriched categories it is proven in Stanculescu, Prop. 3.1, and for (∞,1)-categories it is proven in Simspon, Cor. 16.6.2.
Fully faithful functors $F : C \to D$ can be characterized as those functors for which the following square is a pullback, where the vertical maps are source and target, and the horizontal maps are induced by $F$
The bijections exhibiting full faithfulness of $F$ form a natural isomorphism, by functoriality of $F$ and of pre- and postcomposition.
For (∞,1)-categories the corresponding notion of fully faithful functor is described at fully faithful (∞,1)-functor. This is part of a bigger pattern at work here which is indicated at stuff, structure, property and k-surjective functor.
Inside a 2-category there is a “representable” notion of ff morphism.
There is also a notion of fully faithful functor in enriched category theory, which in general is stronger than being an ff morphism in the 2-category of enriched categories. But it can be expressed internally in any proarrow equipment.
basic properties of…
R. Fritsch, D. M. Latch, Homotopy inverses for nerve, Math. Z. 177 (1981), no. 2, 147–179, doi:10.1007/BF01214196.
Alexandru E. Stanculescu, Constructing model categories with prescribed fibrant objects, Theory and Applications of Categories, Vol. 29, (2014) No. 23, pp 635-653, journal page, arXiv:1208.6005.
Last revised on December 9, 2022 at 05:14:38. See the history of this page for a list of all contributions to it.