Justin Price

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation



First Advisor

Michael Dickson


This dissertation studies how models become useful for scientific inquiry. Towards this study, I develop a theory on the cross-discipline transfer of mathematical models. The first part of this theory characterizes the way in which scientists must respond to the constraints in making a transferable model useable in their discipline. I invent the notion of a landing zone to identify the aspects of their domain that scientists prepare for the use of a transferrable model. The second part connects this response-to-constraints to cases of conceptual progress resulting from model transfer in biology and chemistry. The last part of this dissertation characterizes scientific inquiry as problem solving, where I invent a framework for identifying how scientists use models to frame problems so that they are easier to solve.

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Philosophy Commons