Since 1990, two eminent French-speaking sinologists, François Jullien and Jean François Billeter, have been engaged in a debate on the principles of comparative philosophy and sinology. The debate has been developed in several books and articles and attracted the attention of a relatively broad public as well as of a wide range of French intellectuals. The arguments with regard to an older discussion on the difference between philology and philosophy are evaluated here, and conclusions are drawn concerning the present status of comparative philosophy in academia.