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A history of Chinese philosophy in the so-called Axial Period (the period of classical Greek and Indian philosophy), during which time China evolved the characteristic ways of thought that sustained both its empire and its culture for over 2000 years. It is comprehensive, lucid, almost simple in its presentation, yet backed up with incomparable authority amid a well-honed discretion that unerringly picks out the core of any theme. Garlanded with tributes even before publication, it has redrawn the map of its subject and will be the one essential guide for any future exploration. For anyone interested in the affinities between ancient Chinese and modern Western philosophy, there is no better introduction.