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Abstract

Comparative philosophy has been interested in issues such as whether the familiar Western concepts of the soul and self can be applied in understanding Chinese philosophy about human selfhood and whether there are alternative Chinese modes of thinking about these concepts. I will outline a comparison of the main concerns of the Greeks and Chinese philosophers in their discussion about the soul and self, and examine some of the major comparative theories that are recently developed. The comparative discussion is significant in helping us understand each tradition's views of soul and self in its own terms, and in identifying alternatives to familiar modes of thinking. However, we should avoid looking for simplified uniformity in each tradition and overgeneralizing the contrasts between China and Greece.