I am a philosophy student in my second year and was disturbed by a conversation in my "philosophy of mind" course. The students were bashing philosophy as a discipline: "a fun waste of time", "sitting and thinking" for a living rather than finding a real job, etc. I'm sure you get the picture. I was discouraged by this. rather than being surrounded by others with a deep passion for philosophy, i am surrounded by shallow thinkers.
My question is, how should one go about handling criticisms of this kind, both internally, as well as in social situations as mentioned above? it seems useless to defend myself to those who hold such opinions, but that doesn't mean i want the majority (and it really is most people i meet) to be holding on to those negative stereotypes. How often do you find yourself in these kinds of situations?