Wishful history?

Occasionally, one comes across debates on whether something that happened in the past was good or bad.

For example, was the British Raj good or bad for India and Indians?

Such questions, in my opinion, are the wrong sort of questions to be asking. Instead, one should accept history for what it was.

As Epictetus says:

Don’t demand that things happen as you wish, but wish that they happen as they do happen, and you will go on well.

Historical studies should be impersonal and rigorous with regard to facts.

However, as human beings, it seems always difficult to separate our self from what we are doing.

As Kant put it,

 … our knowledge does not “conform to objects”, but rather objects “conform to our knowledge”… The human mind shapes and structures the world of experience, making knowledge possible.

So, there are limits to one’s objectivity. But it still seems that showing restraint when passing judgement when looking at history is a great approach for someone looking to study or understand history.