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Is there a single word for a person who might not be inherently evil, but takes actions that can cause a lot of harm which the actor is insensitive to? In particular, if the person is interested in propping themselves up regardless of the negative impact to others. Callous seems like the best I can come up with. Curious if there is anything better.

Example: John's constant striving for acclaim would routinely harm those around him, but due to his {desired word here}, this never affected him.

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  • Please provide a sample sentence where the expression could be used.
    – user 66974
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 21:01
  • @user66974, thank you for the reminder. Done. Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 21:10
  • Is he just oblivious?
    – Jim Mack
    Commented Jun 2, 2021 at 23:04
  • You could try crassness.
    – user405662
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 7:59
  • There are different shades of meaning between "oblivious" which suggests genuinely failing to see, such that if you knew you might act differently, and "callous" or "crass" which suggest more willful ignorance or not caring.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 17:09

2 Answers 2

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Indifference works here.

John's constant striving for acclaim would routinely harm those around him, but due to his indifference, this never affected him.

Lexico:

indifference NOUN
1 Lack of interest, concern, or sympathy.

‘But behind the latest official displays of concern lie the same indifference for the plight of the Asian masses

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  • I was hoping for there to be some magic word like supererogatory for another class of acts which contains every bit of meaning I'm looking for all in one word, but I'm not sure that is going to happen. I think that 'callous indifference' does a pretty good job, though Thank you! Commented Jun 3, 2021 at 17:53
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How about apathy ?

Lack of interest, enthusiasm, or concern.

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