Portrait: Verena Wagner (Photo: Ulrike Sommer)

Verena Wagner

Dr. phil, Akademische Rätin a.Z. (senior instructor) Department of Philosophy

Verena Wagner is assistant professor (akademische Rätin a. Z.) and works on various projects at the department of philosophy. Her current research combines epistemology and philosophy of mind: she is interested in mental states and attitudes in general and also in topics concerning doxastic indecision and inquiry, e.g. non-belief, suspension of judgment, agnosticism, epistemic dilemma, weakness of belief or epistemic akrasia, self-deceit, doxastic voluntarism, doxastic compatibilism.

Verena and Alexandra Zinke (University of Frankfurt) received funding for the scientific network Thinking about Suspension (DFG, 36 months).

In January 2023, Verena received funding from the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung for the interdisciplinary project "Tropical Tree Mapping and Abstention Models: An Interdisciplinary Approach Using 3D Tree Reconstruction, Drone Imagery Data, and Abstaining Deep Learning Algorithms“, coordinated together with Urs Kalbitzer (MPI Konstanz), David Reiser (Uni Hohenheim).

Workshop Perspectives on Neutrality II (June 30 - July 1, 2023, Universität Frankfurt).
Workshop Perspectives on Neutrality I (July 8 - 9, 2022, Universität Konstanz).

Since January 2020, Verena receives funding for her project "Sich doxastisch enthalten" (Suspending Doxastically) by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung ("Eliteprogramm für Postdocs"). The project aim to spell out a descriptve theory that analyses different kinds of suspension, only one of which leads to agnosticism as a settled form of indecision. In contrast to belief, so the claim, suspension is brought about actively by the subject and cannot be captured by mere non-belief. Empirical methods will complement the conceptual approach.

In her dissertation, Verena developed a new approach to freedom of action and critically discussed modern developments within the compatibilist tradition. After her doctoral studies at the universities of Regensburg and Leeds (UK) Verena Wagner held a postdoc position in the ERC-project „Indeterminism Ltd.“ Led by Thomas Müller in Konstanz. In this project she focussed on the different consequences of compatibility- and incompatibility claims made by each party in the free will debate as well as the role of indeterminism in that debate.

For the summer term 2018, Verena paused her position at Konstanz in order to serve as interim professor at Saarland University.

Project "Suspending doxastically" funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (2020-2022)

The project "Sich doxastisch enthalten" (Suspending doxastically) is funded by the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung (Eliteprogramms für Postdocs, 01/2020 - 12/2022).


Project coordinator: Dr. Verena Wagner

Research fellow and PhD-student: Daniela Schuster

Student assistants: Anna Kästle and Jule Christof

Collaboration with Dr. Hansjörg Neth (FB Psychologie, AG Sozialpsychologie und Entscheidungsforschung)

Scientific Network: Thinking about Suspension (DFG, 10/2021 - 09/2024)

Thinking about Suspension (DFG-Network, Oct 2021 - Sept 2024)

Doxastic suspension is the third doxastic stance besides belief and disbelief. As such, it is a key philosophical notion, yet until very recently it has received only scant attention in the philosophical literature. The aim of this network is to bundle the recently growing interest in suspension in order to set the stage for a systematic approach to suspension and related concepts, such as withholding, doubting, being agnostic, being neutral, opting out, and being undecided. The network will include various perspectives and different debates within philosophy, e.g., formal, social, and traditional epistemology as well as philosophy of mind and action, but also connect to related disciplines such as psychology and artificial intelligence.

Website of the network.

Verena Wagner (University of Konstanz), Alexandra Zinke (University of Tübingen)

Network members
Joachim Bromand (University of Stuttgart)
Igor Douven (SND/CNRS/Sorbonne University)
Anna-Maria Eder (University of Cologne)
Jane Friedman (New York University)
Tim Kraft (University of Regensburg)
Richard Lohse (KIT Karlsruhe)
Anne Meylan (University of Zurich, UZH)
Hansjörg Neth (University of Konstanz)
Thomas Raleigh (University of Luxembourg)
Chris Ranalli (VU Amsterdam)
Luis Rosa (University of Cologne)
Sven Rosenkranz (University of Barcelona)
Hans Rott (University of Regensburg)
Daniela Schuster (University of Konstanz)
Julia Staffel (University of Colorado, Boulder)
Justin Vlasits (University of Tübingen)
Hong Yu Wong (University of Tübingen)
Nadja-Mira Yolcu (University of Mannheim)


  • Under contract: Hume and Contemporary Epistemology (Ed. with S. Stapleford). Routledge Studies in Eighteenth Century.
  • 2022, Agnosticism as settled indecision. Philosophical Studies, 179(2): 671-697.
  • 2022, Doxastische Neutralität in der Pandemie: die Nichtempfehlung der Ständigen Impfkommission. In: Schmechtig, P. & R. Hauswald (Hg.) Wissensproduktion und Wissenstransfer in Zeiten der Pandemie. Alber Verlag, pp. 403-433.
  • 2021, Epistemic Dilemma and Epistemic Conflict. In: K. McCain, S. Stapleford & M. Steup (Hg.), Epistemic Dilemmas: New Arguments, New Angles. Routledge, S. 58-76.
  • Forthcoming, Libertarismus. In: Handbuch Philosophie des Geistes, Vera Hoffmann-Kolss & Nicole Rathgeb (eds.), Metzler.
  • 2019, Wider den doxastischen Kompatibilismus, Grazer Philosophische Studien 96(4): 569–595.
  • 2019, Doxastischer Voluntarismus und epistemisches Handeln. In: Handbuch Erkenntnistheorie, M. Grajner & G. Melchior (eds.), Metzler, S. 218-224.
  • 2019 (Hg.) Synthese Special Issue on Real Possibility, Indeterminism and Free Will 196(1), mit A. Rumberg und T. Müller.
  • 2018, An introduction to real possibilities, indeterminism, and free will: three contingencies of the debate, Synthese 196(1), S. 1-10, mit A. Rumberg und T. Müller.
  • 2015, On the analogy of free will and free belief. Synthese 194(8), S. 2785–2810.
  • 2014, Explaining the Knobe-effect. In: Lütge et al. (ed.): Experimental Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan.
  • 2013 "Rezeptionsleistung durch indirekte doxastische Kontrolle", in Konrad et al. (ed.): Fiktion, Wahrheit, Interpretation. Philologische und philosophische Perspektiven. Paderborn: Mentis, S. 107-124.
  • 2008, Eine Frage der Definition. Philosophie und Hirnforschung müssen keine Gegensätze sein. In: Blick in die Wissenschaft, Forschungsmagazin der Universität Regensburg, 18. Jahrgang, Heft 21.
  • 2005, Das Ende vom Problem des methodischen Anfangs: Descartes' antiskeptisches Argument (mit Hans Rott). In: Wolters, G. und Carrier, M. (ed.), Homo Sapiens und Homo Faber (Festschrift für Jürgen Mittelstraß), Berlin: de Gruyter, S. 133–145.

In preparation:

  • Epistemic seemings in inquiry. In: McCain, S. Stapleford & M. Steup (eds.): Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles, Routledge.
  • Seeing in a positive light by suspending. In: W. Essler, D. Follesdal, M. Frauchiger (Eds.): Lauener Library of Analytical Philosophy, Berlin: De Gruyter.


Informationen zur Betreuung von Abschlussarbeiten

SoSe 2022 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "David Hume: Eine Untersuchung über den menschlichen Verstand"
2st. Hauptseminar "Evidentialismus"

WiSe 2021/22 (Universität Konstanz)
4st. Proseminar "Logisch-semantische Propädeutik"

SoSe 2021 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Saul Kripke: Name und Notwendigkeit" (with Daniela Schuster)
2st. Hauptseminar "Ignorance in Philosophy and Language" (with Dr. Hadil Karawani)

WiSe 2020/21 (Universität Konstanz)
4st. Proseminar "Logisch-semantische Propädeutik"

SoSe 2020 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. interdisciplinary course "Indecision: philosophical und psychological perspectives" (with Dr. Hansjörg Neth / FB Psychologie)

WiSe 2019/20 (Universität Konstanz)
4st. Proseminar "Logisch-semantische Propädeutik"
2st. Hauptseminar "Quassim Cassam: Self-Knowledge for Humans"

SoSe 2019 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar: "David Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature (Book I: Of the Understanding)"
2st. Hauptseminar: "Is it possible to deceive oneself?"

WiSe 2018 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Klassische und moderne Texte der Philosophie des Geistes (mit Schreibtutorium)"
2st. Hauptseminar "Urteilsenthaltung"

SoSe 2018 (Universität des Saarlandes)
2st. Seminar "Ausgewählte Texte zur Philosophie des Geistes"
2st. Seminar "John Locke: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding"
2st. Seminar "Daniel Kahneman: Thinking, Fast and Slow"
2st. Masterseminar "Doxastic Voluntarism and Epistemic Agency" (in English)
2st. Bachelor-Kolloquium (zusammen mit U. Nortmann, O. Petersen, H. Sturm, W. Keller)

WiSe 2017/18 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "David Hume: An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding" (in English)
2st. Hauptseminar "Daniel Kahneman: Schnelles Denken, langsames Denken"

SoSe 2017 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Bertrand Russell: Probleme der Philosophie"
2st. Proseminar "Philosophische Theorien zur Wahrscheinlichkeit"

WiSe 2016/17 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Ludwig Wittgenstein: Tractatus logico-philosophicus"
2st. Hauptseminar "Doxastische Freiheit: Können wir glauben, was wir wollen?"

SoSe 2016 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Klassische Texte des logischen Empirismus"
2st. Hauptseminar "John Locke: An Essay Concerning Human Understanding"

SoSe 2015 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "David Hume: Eine Untersuchung über den menschlichen Verstand"

WiSe 2014/15 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Harry Frankfurt: The importance of what we care about"

SoSe 2014 (Universität Konstanz)
2st. Proseminar "Klassische kompatibilistische Freiheitstheorien: Hobbes, Locke, Hume"

SoSe 2013 (Uni Regensburg)
2st. Hauptseminar "Doxastische Freiheit" (mit Tim Kraft)
SoSe 2012 (Uni Regensburg)
1st. Proseminar "Studientechniken"
WiSe 2011/12 (Uni Regensburg)
2st. Proseminar "Freiheit und Verantwortlichkeit"
SoSe 2011 (Uni Regensburg)
2st. Proseminar "Entscheidung und sich entscheiden"
WiSe 2010/11 (Uni Regensburg)
1st. Proseminar "Studientechniken"
SoSe 2009 (Uni Regensburg)
1st. Proseminar "Studientechniken"

Curriculum vitae

Since 2016
Akademische Mitarbeiterin / Rätin a.Z. (Prof. Thomas Müller) at University of Konstanz.

April - September 2018
Interim Professor of Philosophy of Mind at Saarland University.

November 2013 - December 2015
Postdoctoral researcher in the ERC-project "Indeterminism Ltd." led by Thomas Müller at University of Konstanz.

December 2012 - October 2013
Interdisciplinary project Wissen und Bedeutung in der Literatur (German Research Foundation, DFG) with focus on doxastic freedom, University of Regensburg.

March - August 2010
Doctoral research visit at University of Leeds (UK)
Supervisors: Helen Steward, Jason Turner

December 2008 - April 2013
PhD-studies at Universities of Regensburg and Leeds
Funded by Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes (2008-2012)
Title of PhD thesis: Free and coerced agency: A new approach to classical compatibilism.
Supervisor: Hans Rott

March - August 2006
Research visit at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) Stockholm
Supervisor: Sven Ove Hansson
Funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD)

2001/02 - 2006/07
M.A. studies at University of Regensburg and KTH Stockholm
Subjects: Philosophy, German Literature, Information Sciences 

Talks and presentations

  • Epistemic Double-Checking. March 2023, Forschungskolloquium, Universität Zürich.
  • Bullshit. May 2023, Philosophisches Kolloquium, Universität Erfurt.
  • On Bullshit. May 2023, Forschungskolloquium, KIT.
  • Practical Reasons for Suspension of Judgment and Belief. October 2022, Workshop: Doxastic Attitudes and Their Reasons, Universität zu Köln.
  • Epistemic double checking and suspension of belief. September 2022, 11th International Conference of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP.11), Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
  • Loving Attention and Willful Ignorance. August 2022, Symposium for Susan Wolf, Lauener Foundation for Analytical Philosophy, Bern.
  • Epistemic Seemings in Inquiry. June, 2022. Workshop: Epistemic Seemings: New Arguments, New Angles. Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
  • Suspensive Attitudes and Inquiry. May 2022, Institut für Philosophie, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin.
  • Das will ich gar nicht wissen! May, 2022, Podiumsdiskussion im Rahmen der PhilExpo22.ch in Bern.
  • Bullshit without Indifference. January 2022, Universität Erlangen (online).
  • Bullshit without Indifference. December 2021, Universität Konstanz (online).
  • Bullshit ohne Indifferenz. December 2021, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin (online).
  • Bullshit und Indifferenz gegenüber der Wahrheit. October, 2021, Philosophische Gesellschaft Zürich, Schweiz.
  • Indecision and Doxastic Suspension. September, 2021, Sektions (Epistemology): XXV. Congress of the German Society of Philosophy, FAU Erlangen (online).
  • Settling one's Indecision. August 2021: Congress of the Swiss Philosophical Society,
    Lugano, Switzerland.
  • Settling Epistemic Dilemma by Suspending. June 2020, Workshop on Epistemic Dilemmas in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada (canceled).
  • Epistemic Conflict and Doxastic Suspension. July 2019, Internationaler Workshop "Epistemic Conflicts", Universität zu Köln.
  • Sich doxastisch enthalten. May 2019, Institutskolloquium, Universität Stuttgart.
  • Urteilsenthaltung: eine Zweikomponenten-Analyse. January 2019, Philosophisches Kolloquium, Technische Universität Dresden.
  • Urteilsenthaltung: eine Zweikomponenten-Analyse. October 2018, Institutskolloquium, Universität Düsseldorf.
  • Endorsed Non-Belief: A Two-Component-Analysis of Suspension of Judgment. October 2018, Workshop: Suspension of Belief, Universität Mannheim.
  • Settled Indecision. October 2018, ELP-Kolloquium, Universität Konstanz.
  • Suspension of Judgment: the Third Doxastic Attitude? September 2018, 10th International Conference of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP.10), Universität zu Köln.
  • Suspension of Judgment: The Third Doxastic Attitude?, May 2018, Kolloquium, Universität Saarbrücken
  • On reconciling freedom and (in)determinism. March 2018, Workshop: Free Will and Laws of Nature, Universität zu Köln.

  • Wider den doxastischen Kompatibilismus. Mai 2017, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen.
  • Against Doxastic Compatibilism. February 2017, Future Directions in Epistemology Workshop, University of Cambridge.
  • Glitterfree Freedom. February 2017, Serious Metaphysics Group, University of Cambridge.
  • Philosophical Debates on Agency, September 2016, AQP2016: Conference on Agency and (quantum) physics, Universität Konstanz.
  • Indeterminism matters for compatibilism. July 2016, 90th Joint Session of the Aristotelian Society and the Mind Association, Cardiff University.
  • Humean Compatibilism. November 2015, Workshop with Helen Beebee: Causality and Laws, Universität Konstanz.
  • On why indeterminism matters for compatibilism. September 2015, 9th International Conference of the German Society for Analytic Philosophy (GAP.9), Universität Osnabrück.
  • Indeterminism under-determined. July 2015, workshop: 'Topics in analytical metaphysics', Universität Mainz.
  • Reconciling projects. March 2015, conference: 'Real possibilities, indeterminism and free will', Universität Konstanz.
  • Free and unfree agency: a non-metaphysical approach. July 2014, Fachbereichskolloquium, Universität Konstanz.
  • Free will and free belief. Two misleading concepts. June 2014, Workshop 'Doxastic agency and epistemic responsibility', Ruhr-Universität Bochum.
  • Agnostic freedomism: a compatibilist approach to indeterministic causation. December 2013, LMU München (MCMP).
  • Doxastic unfreedom. Workshop 'Doxastic freedom', September 2013, University of Regensburg.
  • Paper presentation: Freedom of action. Post-graduate seminar of Thomas Spitzley, December 2012, University Duisburg-Essen.
  • Probleme des klassischen Kompatibilismus in der Freiheitsdebatte. Mittelbaukolloquium, December 2012, University Duisburg-Essen.
  • Explaining the Knobe-effect. International workshop 'Scope and limits of experimental philosophy', September 2013, University of Konstanz.
  • Poster presentation: Coercion: an excusing condition? International conference GAP.8, September 2012, University of Konstanz.
  • Having a Reason: comment on Maria Alvarez. International workshop 'Decisions and the Process of Reasoning', October 2011, University of Regensburg.
  • Handlungsfreiheit und erzwungene Handlungen. XXII. Deutscher Kongress für Philosophie, September 2011, LMU München.
  • Talk and paper presentation: Intentional agency under coercion. Post-graduate conference with Michael Bratman (Stanford), University of Tübingen, June 2011.
  • Talk and poster: Praktische Unfreiheit. Post-grad workshop, November 2010, University of Regensburg.
  • Unwilling drug addicts. Workshop 'Actions, decisions, and free will', March 2010, University of Regensburg.
  • Handlungsfreiheit und Handlungsfähigkeit. Workshopfor PhD-students of the German Association of Analytical Philosophy (GAP), University of Erlangen 2010.

Organised workshops and conferences

Perspectives on Neutrality II
June 30 - July 1, 2023
University of Frankfurt

Perspectives on Neutrality I
July 8 - 9, 2022
University of Konstanz

Workshop with Helen Beebee: Causality and Laws
November 4-5, 2015
University of Konstanz

Real Possibilities, Indeterminism and Free Will
March 18-21, 2015
University of Konstanz

Doxastic Freedom
September 19-21, 2013
University of Regensburg
Keynote speakers: Conor McHugh (Southampton, UK), Matthias Steup (Purdue, USA), Wlodek Rabinowicz (Lund, Sweden)

Decisions and the Process of Reasoning
October 13-15, 2011
University of Regensburg
Keynote speakers: Maria Alvarez (KC London), John Broome (Oxford), Helen Steward (Leeds)

Actions, Decisions and Free Will. Action Theory Meets the Free Will Debate
March 22-24, 2010
University of Regensburg
Keynote speakers: Michael Bratman (Stanford), Uwe Meixner (Augsburg), Jason Turner (Leeds)