Liberal studies is also called liberal education, and it has two aims. First it aims to develop the intellectual skills and habits necessary for an independent mind. Liberally educated people have powers to read, write, reason and learn on their own, and so can guide their own lives and advance in their chosen careers. Second, liberal education grounds us in a tradition of inquiry into fundamental human issues. Students read excellent books (ancient and modern from across the globe) to become acquainted with the best that has been thought and said in politics, religion, philosophy, science, literature and other disciplines of human concern. By making this tradition of inquiry their own, students learn to know themselves and their world.