Philosopher vs Sorcerer: The Potterheads' Debate
First things first, to keep people updated. TPD (The Potterheads' Debate) will be an ongoing series. It should be posted every Saturday, and if not, angrily message me because I will have probably procrastinated until I didn't have it on time.
TPD will essentially be a description and common views on various Potter-related topics, spanning the books and movies. Please do keep the conversation going in the comments - that's what the whole series is for, so that people can share their opinions and learn about other peoples' opinions.
Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. The first is the English book, the second is the American, but it doesn't matter where you come from, it's likely you have strong opinions on this particular topic.
1) It's the original. Philosopher came first, and was Rowling's original plan for the title. I'm sure we all trust Rowling's choices (although Hinny was a debatable choice).
However, original is not always the best, and sorcerer may have been a choice afterwards because Rowling realised she preferred the name and took her chance to edit it.
2) Flamel was a philosopher. As his (original) stone's label suggests, Flamel prided himself on his identity as a philosopher.
However, he was also technically (and more obviously given he was a WIZARD) a sorcerer, and would have had to use more sorcery than philosophy to create the stone.
1) More people knew the book as Sorcerer's. While I personally disagree with this point (as a Brit myself), there is something to be said when you think about the amount of American potterheads compared to the amount of British potterheads.
If the majority knows something different to the minority, does it matter which came first? The minority may have the first opinion, but the second will have more people backing it.
2) Sorcerer's is simpler to think about. To make the connection between philosophy and Flamel, the reader is required to think about the meaning of the stone and what it represents. However, to connect it to sorcery, all you need to know is 'ooh! Magic!'
While Rowling would have probably preferred the readers to be obsessing over the meaning of life and death, the simpler version would entrance more readers who simply wanted a good fantasy story. For commercial reasons, Sorcerer's comes out on top.
I'm afraid to say that I cannot give a solid conclusion. I definitely use Philosopher's, and Sorcerer's sounds strange to me, but I cannot say for definite that I'm right.
Continue this debate in the comments! I've only outlined a few reasons, and I'm sure you're not hard-pressed to think of more.