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Development is a process whereby insignificant and imperceptible quantitative changes lead to fundamental, qualitative changes.

Question 1: What's the meaning of 'imperceptible'? Does it mean that it's out of our capability to feel it, and we human being just cannot feel or know it?

Question 2: Do you agree it?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted
  1. 'imperceptible', as its etymology implies, means 'that cannot be perceived' (by humans senses in this case). The changes occur in minute steps that cannot be individually recognised; but when many of them are summed together, the result is perceptible. When a child grows 0.1mm in a day, you'd have great difficulty in measuring it, let alone noticing it. After 100 days, however, the child has grown 10mm. You didn't notice it happen, but his grandmother will the next time she sees him because she only sees one 'growth step'.
  2. No, I don't agree with the second part of the statement. It doesn't necessarily follow from the premise of a quantative change that we can conclude in a qualitative change. This would be like saying "he grew a lot taller and thus became more intelligent". I'm splitting hairs, of course, we all understand the intention of the statement, but by formal logic it's incorrect.
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you are so thoughtful, thank you. – user3780 Jan 25 '11 at 14:59
'we all understand the intention of the statement', what's the intention of the sentence? – user3780 Jan 25 '11 at 15:07
The writer asserts that quantitative changes lead to qualitative changes. His intention is to persuade the reader that this statement, expressed in a single sentence, is correct. I suggest that at a casual glance, many people would agree, but incorrectly. However, I'm not sure that answers your question? – smirkingman Jan 25 '11 at 15:19
  1. Almost, according to most dictionaries, imperceptible means:

Impossible or difficult to perceive by the mind or senses: an imperceptible drop in temperature.


So subtle, slight, or gradual as to be barely perceptible: an imperceptible nod.

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