I haven't done any significant amount of work on my dissertation since I went home for a brief respite last month. Eight weeks have come and gone and my prospectus is where it was after my pathetic attempt at a defence. I look at it now and the reason why I have not touched it again is fear. I asked my supervisor, last I saw her, if I needed to read some other things to try and solve some problems. She said I should stop reading. I will not find the answer elsewhere. I will have to produce the answer myself.
It is so much easier being a natural scientist. You can easily confirm any claims of knowledge you make. If the formula works - then you know you're right. But as a social scientist? Your claim is only 'right' for as long as it is defensible. You are indoctrinated to believe that critique is part of your job. I suspect this plays a part in the deep insecurity of so many of these academics I have met. Its the realisation that really - what do I know?