SOILS AS OBJECT OF SCIENCE
A new basic science, soil science, was founded by geologist V. Dokuchayev. The existing agronomic soil science investigated soil as a substrate, while Dokuchayev defined soil as an autonomous natural and historical body like any other animal or mineral, being formed by the cumulative influence of natural factors such as climate, animal and plant organisms, relief etc. This definition became classical. This basic definition was given to resolve a well known contradiction between the definition of an object 'per se' (soil) and the number of objects covered by soil science. Apart from defining soil as an object of science, he structured this science, elaborated its tasks, methodology, relation with other sciences, made classification of soils. According to him, the central objective of soil science is investigation of soils per se, that is, their genesis, relation with soil creating factors and geographic coverage, which distinguished his approach from viewing soil as only an object of agricultural activities. But Dokuchayev didn't oppose his approach to traditional utilitarian studies of soils, regarding it as a scientific basis for agricultural soil science. His approach led to differentiation of soil science. Apart from the traditional division by methods of research (physics of soils, chemistry of soils etc.), applied fields of soil science appeared, such as ecological soil science.
CEJSH db identifier