My paper “On the Indispensability of Intentionality” is faulted on two counts by William Lycan:
(i) I fail to show that there are any non-intentional psychological verbs
(ii) my argument against eliminative materialism contains a false premiss.
I intend to deal swiftly with Lycan's indictment, as I believe it to be patently insubstantial. The aim, in my paper, of pointing out that there are non-intentional psychological verbs was to show that Lycan and others have been mistaken in believing that every psychological verb is intentional.
I shall respond first to (ii), to Lycan's charge that the fifth premiss of his reconstruction of my argument against eliminative materalism is false, or at least not obviously true. The premiss reads: “If language takes place, it takes place between persons.” The eliminative materialist can reasonably deny this premiss, Lycan maintains, since it “seems plausible” to predict that we will someday be able to explain, with no reference to people's mental states or activities, what language is and how it works. I believe that because this “prediction” is in fact self-contradictory, it casts no doubt whatsoever on the fifth premiss of my anti-materialist argument.