Nicolas Fillion

Assistant Professor of Philosophy


  • B.A. Philosophy, Université Laval
  • B.A. Mathematics, University of Illinois
  • M.A. Philosophy, Université Laval
  • M.Sc. Applied Mathematics, University of Western Ontario
  • Ph.D. Philosophy, University of Western Ontario

Areas of Interest

Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Mathematics, Logic, Scientific Computation, History of Mathematics

Nic's main research contributions are in the philosophy of science and applied mathematics, but his research and teaching include the history of science & mathematics, formal logic, decision and game theory, critical thinking, philosophy of language, and epistemology broadly construed. In addition to his teaching and research activities, he has also been involved with various outreach, regulation, and curricular initiatives to promote the teaching of philosophy and critical thinking in BC high schools.

Current Research Projects

Nic has ongoing research projects in all his areas of interests. Please consult his personal website for an up-to-date description.

Funded research: "The third pillar of scientific rationality", SSHRC Insight Grant, $75,713, 2018-2022 (Collaborators: Rob Corless and Chris Smeenk)

Recent Publications


  • Fillion, N., Corless R.M., and Kotsireas, I. (forthcoming) Algorithms and Complexity in Mathematics, Epistemology, and Science, in Fields Institute Communications, Springer. 
  • R.M. Corless & N. Fillion (2013). A Graduate Introduction to Numerical Methods, From the Point of View of Backward Error Analysis, Springer: New York, 868pp.


  • Fillion, N. (2018) "Clinical Equipoise and Ethics of Adaptive Clinical Trials,'' Topoi, Special issue: Foundations of Clinical Reasoning
  • Fillion, N. and Bangu, S. (2015). "Numerical Methods, Complexity, and Epistemic Hierarchies,'' Philosophy of Science, 82: 941-955. 
  • Bellhouse, D.R. and Fillion, N. (2015). "Le Her and Other Problems in Probability Discussed by Bernoulli, Montmort and Waldegrave,'' Statistical Science, 30(1): 26-39.
  • Fillion, N. and Corless, R.M (2014). "On the Epistemological Analysis of Modeling and Computational Error in the Mathematical Sciences,'' Synthese, 191: 1451-1467.
  • D.R. Bellhouse & N. Fillion (2015). Le Her and Other Problems in Probability Discussed by Bernoulli, Montmort and Waldegrave'', Statistical Science, 30(1): 26-39. 
  • N. Fillion & R.M. Corless (2014). On the Epistemological Analysis of Modeling and Computational Error in the Mathematical Sciences, Synthese, 191: 1451-1467.
  • Fillion, N. and Moir, R (2018). "Explanation and Abstraction from the Backward Error Analysis Perspective,'' European Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 8(3), pp. 735-759.

Book Chapters and Conference Proceedings:

  • Corless, R.M. and Fillion, N (forthcoming). "Backward Error Analysis for Perturbation Methods,'' in Algorithms and Complexity in Mathematics, Epistemology, and Science.
  • Fillion N (2017). "Vindicating computer simulations in practice,'' in: J. Lenhard (Ed), Mathematics as a Tool, Boston Studies in the History and Philosophy of Science, Springer, pp. 137-156.
  • Fillion N (2016). "Demystifying the Applicability of Mathematics,'' in: A. Aguirre, B. Foster and Z. Merali (Eds), Trick or Truth: the Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics? (Essay-Winning Awards of the Foundational Questions Institute 2015), Springer, pp. 135-144. 
  • Fillion, N. (2015). "The 18th-century origins of the concept of mixed-strategy equilibrium in game theory,'' in: M. Zack & E. Landry (Eds.), Research in History and Philosophy of Mathematics, Springer, pp. 63-78.
  • Fillion, N. (2008). The Kolmogorov-G ̈odel Translation of Classical Arithmetic into Intuitionistic Arithmetic, in: A. Cupillari (Ed.), Proceedings of the Canadian Society for History and Philosophy of Mathematics, pp. 77-88. 

Book Reviews & Critical Notices:

  • Fillion, N. and Ashton, Z. (2017) "Review of R. Wagner's Making and Breaking Mathematical Sense,'' Canadian Mathematical Society Notes, October/November, pp. 8-9.
  • Tardif, P.-A., Elawani, J., and Fillion, N. (2017). "François Tournier: un hommage,'' Phares, XVII: pp.~9-24.
  • Fillion, N. and Zurcher, B. (2014). Review of Richard Arthur’s Natural Deduction: An Introduction to Logic with Real Arguments, a Little History, and Some Humour, Dialogue. Advanced online publication.
  • Kao, M., Fillion, N. and Bell, J.L. (2010). Critical Study of Jean-Pierre Marquis: From a Geometrical Point of View: A Study of the History and Philosophy of Category Theory, Philosophia Mathematica, 18(2): pp. 227–234. 
Commissioned Technical Report
  • Fillion, N. and Martelli, D. (2017). "Overview of Critical Thinking in the BC K-12 Curriculum Revisions: Implications for Post-Secondary Teaching and Learning,'' Commissioned by the Faculty of Arts and Social Science and the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University, 31 pp. 
Awards and Distinctions:
  • Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi) 2015 Essay Prize "Trick or Truth: the Mysterious Connection Between Physics and Mathematics": 4th prize out of more than 200 submissions from 46 countries for the essay "Demystifying the Applicability of Mathematics."
  • Notable Book 2013 list of the ACM Computing Reviews for the book "A Graduate Introduction to Numerical Methods" in the category "Mathematics of Computing.''


Future courses may be subject to change.