The logical opposite of having an irrational fear (or phobia) is not having that fear. But what is the opposite condition, the condition of having an irrational lack of fear for something that should frighten, such as, let's say, being burned? It's not philia since there's no particular affinity for it either, and it's not courage as stated in this answer since courage is something mustered for a particular situation.

  • Why do you assume fear is natural, that dangers "should frighten"? Can't one simply be rational and prudent, knowing that it's not wise to stick one's hand in the fire?
    – TRomano
    Aug 19, 2015 at 21:50
  • 2
    The psychological term for way out-of-whack risk assessment is disinhibition.
    – TRomano
    Aug 19, 2015 at 21:55
  • Probably some combo using a...phobic would be close.
    – Hot Licks
    Aug 19, 2015 at 22:30
  • 1
    Huh.. I should have read the body. Anyway the logical opposite can have many dimensions and one can negate any one of the many attributes. So yours is an irrational lack of having a fear. Like you should be afraid of unconstrained heights.
    – Mitch
    Aug 19, 2015 at 22:35
  • I agree with foolhardy, below, which means the person would be taking a foolish risk.
    – ewormuth
    Aug 19, 2015 at 22:57

5 Answers 5


Before every human quirk had an official psych diagnosis, the behavior of a person who did not feel fear when it would be prudent (and thus seemed overly bold, irresponsible, or even, suicidal,) was called "foolhardy".

See: http://webstersdictionary1828.com/Dictionary/foolhardy

  • Thank you for the suggestion, Tonepoet. (Not sure I got the resource right, but I gave it a shot.)
    – Oldbag
    Aug 20, 2015 at 12:38
  • Thank you for paying heed to my advice. I still think a direct quote with attribution to the printed source, along the lines of "Definition" — A.D.E.L. ([year/edition]), with an embedded link in the word would be best due to linkrot but perhaps it's not as necessary due to the inherently attributive qualities of that site's U.R.L. and abundent distribution nature of the content. You might still want to put See: before the U.R.L. to make it clear that you're not quoting it though.
    – Tonepoet
    Aug 20, 2015 at 16:54
  • This answer would have been better in response to the past edit version of the question that removed the sense of particular dangers which my original question included. It is less relevant, in my view, now that this sense has been restored. Aug 22, 2015 at 19:50

insouciant: Marked by blithe unconcern. (WordWeb)

But this is more general than unconcern about danger.


reckless — having or showing no regard for danger or consequences; heedless; rash

American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. (2011). Retrieved August 20 2015 from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/reckless


The word folly comes to mind.

the lack of good sense or judgment

a foolish act or idea : foolish behavior

(Meriam-Webster on-line)

Another word that comes to my mind is bravado.

A swaggering show of defiance or courage.

A false show of courage.


  • (Like my answer) this does not speak specifically to lack of concern about danger.
    – Drew
    Aug 19, 2015 at 23:02

The answer that comes closest was disinhibition, which was in Tim Romano's comment.

In psychology, disinhibition is a lack of restraint manifested in disregard for social conventions, impulsivity, and poor risk assessment. Disinhibition affects motor, instinctual, emotional, cognitive, and perceptual aspects with signs and symptoms similar to the diagnostic criteria for mania.

Foolhardy implies general disregard for any danger, while disinhibition suggests lack of inhibition for some particular thing, since "inhibition" connotes, like "phobia," aversion to something specific.

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