What is the Law of Transition from Quantity to Quality and from Quality to Quantity?July 2, 2021
One of the three universal laws established by dialectical and historical materialism. This law determined by dialectical and historical materialism, like the other ‘law of unity and struggle of opposites’ and ‘law of negation of negation (law of negation of negation N.), is in nature, society and consciousness; it is valid in all their processes, so it is universal.
In fact, it was the German thinker Hegel who discovered all three laws, but he mystified and abstracted all three laws. It was dialectical and historical materialism that saw and determined these laws as a reflection of objective reality. Dialectical materialist philosophy has rearranged these three universal laws as laws of knowing and transforming objective reality. In particular, the determination that these laws take specific forms according to the changing conditions in social development is a product of dialectical materialist philosophy.
For example, quantitative and qualitative changes are relative, changes that are qualitative in terms of some features may be quantitative in terms of other features; Capitalism has turned into monopoly capitalism, this change is qualitative in terms of some features, but quantitative in terms of some features, because the nature of capitalism has not changed. As seen in these examples, various specific forms of this universal law in various conditions have been studied and determined by dialectical materialist philosophy. This law is also characterized by the phrase ‘transition from quantity to quality’.
TRANSITION FROM QUANTITY TO QUALITY
The law explaining that development occurs when quantitative changes are transformed into qualitative changes. This law, introduced by dialectical materialism, explains the conditions under which the progression from the lower to the higher takes place in nature, consciousness, and society. According to this objective law, any development takes place as quantitative accumulations necessarily require a change in quality. For example, water boiled up to a hundred degrees changes its quality and becomes steam, a medical student whose knowledge increases becomes a doctor by changing qualifications, a deputy candidate who gets the required number of votes changes his qualifications and becomes a deputy, etc. This objective and universal law is also expressed in terms of evolution and revolution. Evolution and revolution are two closely interdependent aspects of development. For development to take place, accumulations in quantity (evolution) on the one hand and changes in quality (revolution) on the other hand are necessary.
Evolutionary development necessarily engenders revolutionary development. This transition from quantity to quality takes place abruptly by ‘leap’. For example, water, which maintains its qualifications up to 99 degrees, suddenly becomes steam when it heats up one degree more, and a person who needs to get a thousand votes and maintains his qualification as a candidate up to 999 votes suddenly becomes a deputy by getting one more vote. Nature, society and consciousness move and develop with this law. What happens is that the old disappears and is replaced by the new. However, this new is not necessarily a new that contrasts with the old in every developmental process. Although the new is new compared to the previous stage, it is old compared to the next stage. Although it has been renovated in some places, it maintains its old structure. For example, at the point where the quantitative accumulation in internal conflicts exceeds the necessary limit, capitalism has jumped to the stage of imperialism, but it still maintains its capitalistic structure. This means that the change that is qualitative according to a less competent structure is quantitative according to a more competent structure.
Quantitative changes and qualitative changes are also tightly dependent on each other, just as quantitative changes cause quality changes, so do quality changes. For example, a new machine (quality) increases production (quantity), an increase in production requires a more advanced machine (quality), a more advanced machine increases production (quantity), etc… This law was first put forward by the German thinker Hegel in an idealist structure.
WHAT IS THE TRANSITION FROM QUALITY TO QUANTITY?
The opposite process that starts with the transition from quantity to quality. Qualitative change of an object requires quantitative change of that object. This is true in social events as well as in natural events. For example, a machine (quality) increases production (quantity), and an increase in production requires a new machine (transition from quantity to quality). Every movement (revolution N.) takes place in a process of evolution, and every evolution occurs in a process of revolution. The dialectical understanding has revealed their influence and dependence on each other in the mutual relations of quality and quantity.