John Gibbons’ interests in the philosophy of mind seem to be a rather diverse lot. There’s the attempt to reconcile non-reductive materialism with the causal relevance of the mental by taking seriously the notion of a level (the mental level, the biological level, the physical etc.). There’s reconciling content externalism with ordinary self-knowledge about our own mental states. And there’s the idea that knowledge itself is a mental state that plays an ineliminable role in the explanation of intentional action. The underlying theme is a normative conception of the mental. The mind is the one place on earth where things really do happen for a reason, and happening for a reason has both a causal and a normative side. And if reasons reach all the way out to the world, which of course they must, then the mind reaches just as far.
Joe Mendola’s Anti-Externalism (Oxford: 2008) argues that internalism is true, which is to say that all the conditions that constitute someone’s current thoughts and sensations with their characteristic contents are internal to that person’s skin and contemporaneous. Anti-Externalism was the subject of a book symposium at the 2010 Pacific APA meeting, with Mark Richard, David Hilbert, and Gary Ebbs, which is forthcoming in Analytic Philosophy. Human Thought (Kluwer: 1997) develops an account of mental content that is a form of semantic two-dimensionalism. Mendola is working now on conscious experience, ontology, and the interpretation of physical theories, and thinks it will all be one book someday