Gary Mar

Gary Mar

Associate Professor
Ph.D. University of California at Los Angeles, 1985

Harriman Hall 245
Stony Brook University
Stony Brook, NY 11794-3750
Tel: (631) 632-7570

Areas of Specialization

Logic, philosophy of mathematics, contemporary analytic philosophy, and philosophy of religion

Gary Mar specializes in Logic, Philosophy of Mathematics, Analytic Metaphysics, Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Religion, and Asian American Philosophy. Professor Mar was the last dissertation student of the great 20th century logician Alonzo Church whose students include such noted logicians as Alan Turing, Stephen Kleene, J. Barkley Rosser, Leon Henkin, John Kemeny, Martin Davis, William Boone, Hartley Rogers, Dana Scott, Simon Kochen, and Raymond Smullyan. Gary Mar is co-author with Donald Kalish and Richard Montague of the classic textbook Logic: Techniques of Formal Reasoning (second edition) published by Oxford University Press. He is currently working on a third edition of this book with Nathan Salmon.

Professor Mar is the founding director of the Philosophy Department Logic Lab and co-founder of the Group for Logic and Formal Semantics. Professor Mar’s logic research on fractal images in the semantic of the paradoxes was presented at the Gödel Centenary “Horizons of Truth” at the University of Vienna (2005), has been discussed in Scientific American (1991), and is elaborated in The Philosophical Computer (MIT Press, 1998), which was co-authored with Patrick Grim and Paul St. Denis. From 1987 to 2002 he co-edited 15 volumes of The Philosophers Annual with Patrick Grim and others. Professor Mar has been interviewed by Professor Paul Bingham (“A Philosopher’s Stone”) and by Graham Glenn for Stony Brook Center for Innovations in Education.

In 1996, and again at its opening on October 22, 2012, Charles B. Wang acknowledged Professor Mar as a catalyst the donation of the Charles B. Wang Asian American Center at Stony Brook by Charles B. Wang. At this time this donation was the largest in the history of public education system in New York State. In 1997 he was the founding director of the Asian American Center—located in an abandoned hallway between Physics and Philosophy—which was to be the “temporary home of the Charles B. Wang Asian American Center” until finding is permanent home in the Wang Center which finally opened in October 22, 2012. Professor Mar was the founding President of the Asian American Faculty Staff Association (AAFSA) at Stony Brook, helped with the formation of Asian American advocacy group at Brookhaven National Lab, and started teaching the first regularly offered course in Asian American Studies at Stony Brook, which was established in 1997 through Stony Brook’s Academy of Teacher-Scholars.

In 2000 Professor Mar began his collaboration with the Emmy-Award-winning PBS documentary filmmaker Loni Ding. Loni Ding’s documentaries “The Color of Honor” (1988) and “Nisei Soldier: Standard-Bearer for an Exiled People” (1984) were screened in both Houses of Congress and to President Ronald Reagan where credited with being the tipping point for the passage of the historic 1988 Civil Liberties Act. In 2002 Professor Mar successfully nominated Loni Ding for an Honorary Doctorate from Stony Brook.

In 2003 Professor Mar hosted a graduate seminar with Noam Chomsky on the President’s Rotating Stars Program and produced a DVD Chomsky on Chomsky, Language, Mind and Freedom: the Stony Brook Interviews (2004). As director of the Asian Americans, Gary Mar has organized since 2000 an annual symposium “With Liberty and Justice for All….” This series, now in its 10th year and has been broadcast nationally, and has featured such prominent academics, artists, and activists as Gary Okihiro, Sharon Hom, Ling-Chi Wang (the “Martin Luther King, Jr. of the Asian American Civil Rights Movement), Angela Davis, public artist Tomie Arai, photo journalist Corkey Lee, poet Fay Chiang, Daphne Kwok, Alberta Lee (daughter of Dr. Wen Ho Lee), Helen Zia (the activist featured in the documentary Who Killed Vincent Chin? and co-author with Dr. Wen Ho Lee of My County vs. Me), James Yee, the Muslim Chaplin imprisoned in Guantanamo, and Yuri Kochiyama (the activist featured in the historic photo cradling the slain Malcolm X).

In the 2003 Newsletter of the APA, Professor Mar was acknowledged as a catalyst for the inclusion of Asian American Philosophy in the American Philosophical Association through the expansion of a committee on Asian Studies to become the Committee on Asian and Asian-American Philosophers and Philosophies, which he eventually chaired from 2008-2012. Professor Mar published series of articles in the Newsletter “What Does Asian American Studies Have to Do With Philosophy?” (2003), New Media and New Mirrors in Asian American Studies (2003), and “Angel Island Reflections” (2010) which set forth the philosophical justification for Asian American Philosophy and its the pedagogy of empowerment. Through an APA grant aimed at establishing the field of Asian American Philosophy “A Shorter Rethinking of Philosophy Through Asian American Eyes,” Professor Mar was able to produce and distribute a DVD “Angel Island Reflections” at the 2010 Centenary of the Angel Island Immigration Station in San Francisco, a culmination of a promise to his students and containing a decade worth of student media projects dealing with Asian American immigration history.

Professor Gary Mar has been the receipt of a Pew Scholar Fellowship, the President’s and Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Teaching, and an Outstanding Professor Award from the Stony Brook University Alumni Association. He currently is Vice-Chair for the community Advisory Board for Public television WNET/WLIW, a member of the Suffolk County Human Rights Commission has also received numerous community awards including awards from the Organization of Chinese Americans, the New York City Council, and the Council for Prejudice Reduction.

Selected Publications

  • The Philosophical Computer: Exploratory Essays in Philosophical Computer Modeling, MIT, with Professor Patrick Grim, Paul St. Denis, and members of the Group for Logic and Formal Semantics 
  • Logic: Techniques of Formal Reasoning (second edition), HBJ, 1980, with Donald Kalish and Richard Montague.
  • "Chaos in Cooperation: Continuous-Valued Prisoner's Dilemmas in Infinite-Valued Logic"
  • "The Modal Unity of Anselm's Proslogion"
  • "Real Life"


Curriculum Vitae

Upcoming Events

Thinking the Plural: Richard Bernstein’s Contribution to American Philosophy

September 26th-27th

Fré Ilgen: Arts and Bodies

October 14th

Translating Jean-Luc Nancy: Invitations and Intrusions

October 15th

Don Ihde Distinguished Alumni Award

October 21st

Book Presentation

Edward S. Casey and Mary Watkins, Up Against the Wall: Re-Imagining the U.S.-Mexico Border
October 30th

Spaces of Control: Confronting Austerity and Repression

Eleventh Biennial Radical Philosophy Association Conference
November 6th-9th

"Envelopes of Flesh"

November 7th

"The Avowal of the Truth: Torture and Confession in the Witch-Hunt"

November 13th

“Affective Labor and Feminist Politics”

Johanna Oksala
November 18th

“Heidegger's Mask: Silence, Politics and 'World Jewry' in the Black Notebooks"

Adam Knowles
November 20th

“The Big Picture: Philosophy After the Apollo Missions”

Kelly Oliver
December 2nd

"Violence and Hyperbole: From the Death Penalty Seminar to the 'Cogito' Essay"

Michael Nass
December 11th

Department of Philosophy      Harriman Hall 213, Stony Brook, NY 11794     Phone: (631) 632-7570
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