For example, the head of a country who believes in his people's right of free speech, including those of critics or activists who strongly denounce his leadership, but will not do anything to curtail that right even if it threatens to cut his reign short.

Or a parent who believes experience is the best teacher and lets their kids learn through mistakes and failure, so does not do anything—lectures, physical punishment, etc. Short of risking imminent, permanent harm to the children, they allow almost anything even if their kids might become headaches later on (develop bratty behavior, resentful, etc).

In short, people who believe consequences are worth the risk if the principle is preserved.

Thank you in advance.

  • 1
    That would be a stoic, one who practices Stoicism. They believe what's gonna happen is just gonna happen. Can't say as I blame them.
    – Elliot
    Commented May 5, 2020 at 3:22
  • 2
    They are non-interventionist. Commented May 5, 2020 at 18:01
  • Are you describing a kind of tough love in action (see Guerilla Parenting)? Commented Jun 4, 2020 at 18:14

4 Answers 4



noun- a policy or attitude of letting things take their own course, without interfering.


Why not principled?

principled: (of a person or their behavior) acting in accordance with morality and showing recognition of right and wrong.

principled: following the accepted rules of moral conduct

Here morality, including right and wrong, and moral conduct are as defined by the person practicing them. What matters is that they are committed to following a given set of rules no matter what.


Such a person might be a fatalist. This is somewhat more passive than the laissez-faire or “school of hard knocks” approach, which at least imply agency and learning (presumably to make better decisions in the future). For the fatalist, everything is predetermined, i.e. hard knocks but no schooling.

The ever-helpful Wikipedia lays it out in more detail https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fatalism


I have the same question. Not a sense of "it is what it is" or "something bad is happening, but it will all work out" but someone letting anything and everything happens to them w/out fighting back even the most trivial things. The only word that comes to mind is weak minded. Not having the strength to stand up for yourself or at least attempt to fight back what life throws your way. I don't think there is a word for this honestly.

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