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.
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.
The predisposing cause in each case was the desire to be free from the "bondage of creed."
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.
Fatigue from physical exertion is a predisposing cause of heat-stroke, and constipation and alcoholic indulgence should be avoided.