This chapter reproduces theoretical exchanges about poverty in the 1980s, starting with David Piachaud's commentary on Poverty in the United Kingdom in 1981 in New Society, and Peter Townsend's reply. This is followed by a summary of a lecture by Amartya Sen, a rejoinder from Peter Townsend, and an extract from a relevant paper by Meghnad Desai and Anup Shah - all in Oxford Economic Papers. An attempt has been made to represent the key arguments. Readers are referred to the full version of the papers to place these extracts or summaries in context (Piachaud, 1981b; Sen, 1983 and 1985a; Townsend, 1981 and 1985; Desai and Shah, 1988).