It is an obvious and banal fact that reasons for action often conflict, which is simply to say that they often call for different and incompatible courses of action. Ordinarily we resolve such conflicts by assessing the relative weight or strength of all the relevant reasons and then deciding in favor of that action which has the greatest overall support. This process, which Professor Joseph Raz calls determining what ought to be done on the balance of reasons,l is clearly a fundamental and commonly employed mode of practical reasoning. The reasons wh ich we take into account when relying on this mode are, in Raz's terminology, first-order reasons; they are reasons for action that have been drawn direcdy from considerations of interest, desire or morality.2