Raphael Demos, a retired Harvard professor and an authority on Plato, died Thursday of a heart attack aboard the S.S. Anna Maria, shortly before it arrived in New York.
Demos, who taught at Harvard from 1919 to 1962, was Alford Professor of Natural Religion, Moral Philosophy and Civil Policy, emeritus. For many years, he taught a lower-level course in "Philosophy from Plato to William James." He was editor of "Complete Works of Plato" in 1936, and author of "The Philosophy of Plato," in 1939.
Demos had been living in Athens with his wife since June 1967, where he was on the faculty of a program for undergraduates known as "College year in Athens."
Born at Smyrna, Asia Minor, Demos spent his early years in Constantinople, and earned an A.B. degree in 1910 from Anatolia College in Marsovan. He came to the United States in 1913, studied at Harvard where he earned a Ph.D., and joined the Harvard faculty in 1916. He became Alford Professor in 1945.
Demos was a member of the Doty faculty committee which produced the report "General Education in a Free Society" and was one of the first professors to teach in the freshman seminar program at Harvard. He was also a fellow of Adams House.
Following retirement from Harvard in 1962, he taught at Vanderbilt University in 1962-3 and again in 1964-7. In 1963-4, Demos taught at McGill University in Montreal.