Happiness, un-happiness and sadness

Happiness, un-happiness and sadness

One of our regular contributors to this blog asked me an interesting question recently. She wanted me to comment on the difference between un-happiness and sadness.

Apparently, in several dictionaries the terms are used interchangeably so in some quarters anyway there might not be any difference.

To be honest, I’d not ever thought about it much until asked this question but my first response was this:

– unhappiness is an absence of the positive emotion, happiness

– sadness is the presence of the negative emotion, sadness

If this is a reasonable distinction then it coud be argued that one could experience an absence of happiness yet not actually be sad!

What do you think?