This chapter describes two contrasting cultures of outsiders and two clusters of interpretation of rural poverty. It argues that each culture and each cluster is incomplete, giving only a partial view, and that through pluralism a synthesis of the two cultures and of the two clusters analysis will come closer to the truth. A balanced view may best be sought in a pluralism which straddles both academic and practitioner cultures, which accepts both social and physical explanations, and which is open to the third culture, of rural people in a particular place. Outsiders polarise into two cultures: a negative academic culture, mainly of social scientists, engaged in unhurried analysis and criticism; and a more positive culture of practitioners, engaged in time-bounded action. The chapter concludes that pluralism in rural development has a third leg. The two cultures academic and practical share the top-down, core-periphery, centre-outwards biases of knowledge.