It is curious to note their body movements, Plato is pointing up towards the sky, symbolising his theory of Idealism, while Aristotle is turning his Palm down to the ground portraying Realism.
Plato’s Idealism VS Aristotle’s Realism
Originating from Pythagorean Philosophy, Plato’s Idealistic views bring in focus that ideas are what defines the real world, the true world cannot be represented through physical forms. For example, taking the common example of a tree, we see a tree in its physical form, with a bunch of markings and irregularities in its natural twigs and branches but Plato argued the idea of Tree gave the thing its true existence and not the physical form we see. Abstraction is the firm foundational unit while materialistic reality is only a crude reflection of the eternal truth subject to change unlike ideas. Since the old Athenian times, where Plato’s Ideas were taught in his school called ‘Academy’, Platonist Idealism has changed a lot through these periods. A detailed reading of the evolution of Idealism can be found here: https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/idealism/ Aristotle, student of Plato the Great, broke away from his mentor’s idealistic philosophy and built the foundation of a new philosophy known as Realism, with a pillar of scientific method supporting it. He believed that the existence of reality is independent of the mind, it all narrows down to perception. Realism focuses on the perception of materials through our senses rather than dwelling on abstract ideas of mind, this marks the key contrast between Idealism and Realism.
Plato’s Allegory of the Cave
Plato finally concludes, the prisoners are so ignorant that they would murder not only the person but even the idea which tries to drag them away from their cave, thus portraying the place of philosophical and scientific reformer in a thickened ordinary world.