While at Michigan Dewey wrote his first two books: explored the synthesis between this idealism and experimental science that Dewey was then attempting to effect.
At Michigan Dewey also met one of his important philosophical collaborators, James Hayden Tufts, with whom he would later author (1908; revised ed. In 1894, Dewey followed Tufts to the recently founded University of Chicago.
The confluence of these viewpoints propelled Dewey's early thought, and established the general tenor of his ideas throughout his philosophical career.
Upon obtaining his doctorate in 1884, Dewey accepted a teaching post at the University of Michigan, a post he was to hold for ten years, with the exception of a year at the University of Minnesota in 1888.
Disagreements with the administration over the status of the Laboratory School led to Dewey's resignation from his post at Chicago in 1904.
His philosophical reputation now secured, he was quickly invited to join the Department of Philosophy at Columbia University.
Second, Darwin's theory of natural selection suggested in a more particular way the form which a naturalistic approach to the theory of knowledge should take.
Darwin's theory had renounced supernatural explanations of the origins of species by accounting for the morphology of living organisms as a product of a natural, temporal process of the adaptation of lineages of organisms to their environments, environments which, Darwin understood, were significantly determined by the organisms that occupied them.
A primary focus of Dewey's philosophical pursuits during the 1930s was the preparation of a final formulation of his logical theory, published as (1949), the last coauthored with Arthur F. Dewey continued to work vigorously throughout his retirement until his death on June 2, 1952, at the age of ninety-two.
The central focus of Dewey's philosophical interests throughout his career was what has been traditionally called "epistemology," or the "theory of knowledge." It is indicative, however, of Dewey's critical stance toward past efforts in this area that he expressly rejected the term "epistemology," preferring the "theory of inquiry" or "experimental logic" as more representative of his own approach.