Kent Johnson received a certificate in cognitive science and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Rutgers in 2001, and then taught at the Logic and Philosophy of Science Department at UC-Irvine until his death. His post allowed him to pursue interests acquired at Rutgers and he quickly became a groundbreaker in the philosophy of linguistics, as well as in the philosophy of psychology and cognitive science. He published widely and influentially in statistical methodology, modeling, and probabilistic inference in highly regarded journals including Nous, Mind and Language, Philosophical Psychology, Language Sciences and Philosophy of Science. His career in Irvine took him quickly from assistant to associate to full professor and even a stint as chair of his department.
Kent was the first graduate student at Rutgers who worked almost exclusively in philosophy of language and especially formal semantics. He was the first philosopher to make the inconvenient trek from Douglass College to College Avenue to take courses with the linguists and then even further over to Busch Campus to study with the mathematical logicians. He was always working and always smiling; he seemed to enjoy graduate school as much as anyone.