But very often refreshment is undoubtedly obtained from such narcotic sleep. It may be supposed that in the latter case the effect of the drug has been to ensure occurrence of that second predisposing factor mentioned above, of that withdrawal of sense impulses from the nerve centres that serves to usher in the state of sleep. In certain conditions it may be well worth while by means of narcotic drugs to close the portals of the senses for the sake of thus obtaining stillness in the chambers of the mind; their enforced quietude may induce a period in which natural rest and repair continue long after the initial unnatural arrest of vitality due to the drug itself has passed away.
The predisposing circumstances which affected Montaigne were thus likely to incline him to scepticism, to ethical musings on the vanity of life and the like.
Chills are recognized as predisposing both to primary infection and to relapses, and malnutrition is also believed to increase susceptibility; both should therefore be avoided.
The predisposing causes of the Donatist schism were the belief, early introduced into the African church, that the validity of all sacerdotal acts depended upon the personal character of the agent, and the question, arising out of that belief, as to the eligibility for sacerdotal office of the traditores, or those who had delivered up their copies of the Scriptures under the compulsion of the Diocletian persecution; the exciting cause was the election of a successor to Mensurius, bishop of Carthage, who died in 311.
The universal custom of sleeping on the house-top in summer promotes rheumatic and neuralgic affections; and in the Koh Daman of Kabul, which the natives regard as having the finest of climates, the mortality from fever and bowel complaint, between July and October, is great, the immoderate use of fruit predisposing to such ailments.
The truth seems to be that native opinion throughout India was in a ferment, predisposing men to believe the wildest stories, and to act precipitately upon their fears.
To heredity, as an indirect or predisposing cause, has probably been assigned too great importance, and the many facts brought forward of the relative frequency of cancer in members of one family only justify the conclusion that the tissue-resistance of certain families is lowered.
In this way conditions formerly believed to be the causes of disease are now recognized as playing their part in predisposing to the action of the true causal agent, viz.
Fatigue from physical exertion is a predisposing cause of heat-stroke, and constipation and alcoholic indulgence should be avoided.
Apart from the two functions of discerning between right and wrong, and actively predisposing the agent to moral action, conscience has further a retrospective action whereby remorse falls upon the man who recognizes that he has broken a moral law.