Word Origin & History
along with humanist used in a variety of philosophical and theological senses 16c.-18c., especially ones imitating L. humanitas "education befitting a cultivated man." Main modern sense traces to c.1860; as a pragmatic system of thought, defined 1907 by co-founder F.C.S. Schiller as: "The perception
that the philosophical problem concerns human beings striving to comprehend a world of human experience by the resources of human minds." Humanist is from Fr. humaniste, from It. umanista, coined by It. poet Lodovicio Ariosto (1474-1533) "student of human affairs or human nature."