In the area of research on the structure of Chinese traditional society and the behavioral pattern of traditional Chinese people, two theories are probably most predominant and pervasive, i.e., the theory of ＂differential mode of society＂ proposed by Fei Xiaotong and the theory of ＂ethics-based society＂ proposed by Liang Shuming. These two theories are in agreement on some points, but their differences are also profound. The most prominent difference is their judgment of the fundamental value that underlies Chinese＇s people＇s behavior. Fei Xiaotong describes Chinese people as self-centered and suggests that their behavior be generally labeled as ＂egoism＂. Liang Shuming, on the other hand, insists that Chinese people are not selfish, but rather ＂other-centered＂. This paper tries to restore the two categorically different theories to its historical background of the nationwide debate on ＂national characteristics＂ in the first half of the 20fh century. Being the two representative theories in the debate, Fei＇s ＂egoism＂ theory and Liang＇s ＂other-centeredness＂ theory actually have both strength and weakness.