New doctoral student: Dieu-Merci Manwana Sindani


Dieu-Merci Manwana Sindani grew up in an environment of intense philosophical practice in his country, the Democratic Republic of Congo. At the end of his undergraduate studies in Philosophy, he graduated from both the Université Saint Augustin in Kinshasa and the Pontificia Università Urbaniana in Rome. In the same vein, he completed his postgraduate studies in Philosophy at the Université Catholique du Congo. The diversity of activities in which he has engaged throughout his career –participation in and contributions to scientific symposia, conferences, television broadcasts, debates, writing articles, reviews or collective works, training and teaching– which have all nurtured his philosophical culture and imprinted an interdisciplinary character on him.

Since October 2021, he has been completing a DEA (Diplôme d’Etudes Approfondies) in Philosophy at the Université Catholique du Congo, funded by the Institut de Missiologie Missio Aachen.

Since March 2023, he has been doing research under the supervision of Professor Marc Peeters of the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), at the Faculty of Philosophy and Social Sciences, Department of Philosophy, Ethics and Religious and Secular Sciences.

Currently studying for his PhD at the Université Catholique de Louvain (UCL), Dieu-Merci Manwana Sindani is working under the supervision of Professor Alexandre Guay, and his research is being carried out jointly by the Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Literature (FIAL) and the Institut Supérieur de Philosophie (ISP).

Dieu-Merci’s PhD project

Dieu-Merci Manwana Sindani’s thesis project examines the virtue epistemology as a theory of knowledge and learning.

As a theory of knowledge, the virtue epistemology is presented here as a study based on the idea that the acquisition and/or production of knowledge has something to do with the exercise of one or more virtues, in particular originality of thought, intellectual curiosity, scientific honesty, open-mindedness, perseverance, rigour, prudence, etc. In this framework, knowledge is not merely a matter of the exercise of one or more virtues.

In this context, knowledge is not a set of justified and verified propositions emanating from a knowing subject, but rather the appropriate virtue. To know is thus to exercise a virtue.

There is therefore a close relationship between the quality of knowledge and the qualities of the subject who acquires or produces it.

On the other hand, as a theory of learning, the epistemology of virtues is approached by the researcher as a continuous and iterative process, which involves not only the acquisition of knowledge and skills, but also the development of essential virtues known as epistemic or intellectual or cognitive.

With this in mind, the thesis examines how these virtues can be taught and encouraged in educational contexts. In doing so, it also explores the relevance of virtue epistemology to contemporary issues in learning, such as pedagogical approaches to the use of technology and issues related to teaching in a multicultural society. In more depth, the thesis examines how epistemic virtues can help to address these issues by promoting educational practices that foster critical reflection and intercultural communication.

This is an interdisciplinary study, combining not only epistemology, but also anthropology, metaphysics and (intellectual) ethics. Moreover, it has important implications in many fields, including science, politics, education, religion and social life.