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This chapter considers the different kinds of abstractions we make in chemistry when forming chemical concepts. The chapter discusses an important distinction between concepts presented to us in perception where abstraction occurs preconsciously, at a level in the brain that operates automatically, and those that require conscious deliberation and reconstruction from our immediate perceptions. The chapter also explores examples of four rather general classes of concept that are needed to do, or successfully study, chemistry. Chemical concepts may concern (i) objects; (ii) events; (iii) qualities; or (iv) may be meta-concepts. Meta-concepts are formed by reflecting on concepts themselves and how they are related, or how those concepts can be operationalised for particular purposes.

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