aristotle vs plato painting
In the center of the fresco, at its architecture’s central vanishing point, are the two undisputed main subjects: Plato on the left and Aristotle, his student, on the right. Both figures hold modern (of the time), bound copies of their books in their left hands, while gesturing with their right. Plato holds Timaeus and Aristotle holds his Nicomachean Ethics. Plato is depicted as old, grey, and bare-foot. By contrast, Aristotle, slightly ahead of him, is in mature manhood, wearing sandals and gold-trimmed robes, and the youth about them seem to look his way. In addition, these two central figures gesture along different dimensions: Plato vertically, upward along the picture-plane, into the vault above; Aristotle on the horizontal plane at right-angles to the picture-plane (hence in strong foreshortening), initiating a flow of space toward viewers.
It is popularly thought that their gestures indicate central aspects of their philosophies, for Plato, his Theory of Forms, and for Aristotle, an emphasis on concrete particulars. Many interpret the painting to show a divergence of the two philosophical schools. Plato argues a sense of timelessness whilst Aristotle looks into the physicality of life and the present realm.
An interpretation of the fresco relating to hidden symmetries of the figures and the star constructed by Bramante was given by Guerino Mazzola and collaborators.  The main basis are two mirrored triangles on the drawing from Bramante (Euclid), which correspond to the feet positions of certain figures. 
The two figures to the left of Plotinus were used as part of the cover art of both Use Your Illusion I and II albums of Guns N’ Roses.
But he is, of course, most outstanding as a philosopher. His writings in ethics and political theory as well as in metaphysics and the philosophy of science continue to be studied, and his work remains a powerful current in contemporary philosophical debate.
Plato and Aristotle are discussing the respective merits of Idealism vs. Realism. Plato holds his book, Timaeus, one of the few works by Plato that had been recovered by the Renaissance, while explaining how the universe was created by the demiurge from perfect mathematical models, forms and the regular geometric solids. With his right hand Plato gestures upwards, indicating that the eternal forms, such as the ideals of Beauty, Goodness and Truth, are not in or of this world, but beyond, in a timeless realm of pure Ideas.
To the left of Plato, Socrates is recognizable thanks to his distinct features. It’s said that Raphael was able to use an ancient portrait bust of the philosopher as his guide. He’s also identified by his hand gesture, as pointed out by Giorgio Vasari in Lives of the Artists. “Even the Manner of Reasoning of Socrates is Express’d: he holds the Fore-finger of his left hand between that, and the Thumb of his Right, and seems as if he was saying You grant me This and This.”
So who is everyone else? It’s not always crystal clear, as Raphael doesn’t arm all his characters with attributes that give away their identity. Fortunately, there are quite a few that scholars can agree on.
Plato is notorious for attacking art in Book 10 of his Republic. According to Platos Theory of Forms, objects in this world are imitations of ideal forms that are the only true reality. This form has spiritual existence, and can only be created by a god. An artisan or craftsman makes a copy of it, using natural materials. Plato theorizes that this is only a mere imitation of the ideal form, and is not real. Therefore, a painter or representative poet is even further from the truth, for they create a copy of a copy, twice removed from reality. Only a mirror image exists in the painting, and far removed from the true form. Plato calls this deception. Plato also argues that not only does art reduce truth, it also appeals to the passionate side of the soul instead of the rational side. It aims merely to please the eye and ear. This can detract from the balanced reasoning that is essential to virtue.
Much more concerned with moral content than Aristotle, Plato uses his theory to attack art and poetry as being deceptive. Although Homers epic poems are allegorical, Plato says Homer is a liar because young people are not always able to discern the allegories. He believes this can have moral consequences. He writes poetical imitations are ruinous to the understanding of the hearers, and the knowledge of their true nature is the only antidote to them. Plato believes that the only antidote is the knowledge of the true nature and form of the arts.