Is what self-evident about this pragmatic maxim?
For example, is it self-evident that it has a flaw?
For instance, consider the difference between these two presentations:
Consider what effects, that might conceivably have practical bearings, we conceive the object of our conception to have. Then, our conception of these effects is the whole of our conception of the object.
Consider what effects that might conceivably have practical bearings you conceive the object of your conception to have: then the general mental habit that consists in the production of these effects is the whole meaning of your concept.
Note that in these three lines one finds, “conceivably,” “conceive,” “conception,” “conception,” “conception.” Now I find there are many people who detect the authorship of my unsigned screeds; and I doubt not that one of the marks of my style by which they do so is my inordinate reluctance to repeat a word. This employment five times over of derivates of concipere must then have had a purpose.
Now consider this from Plato’s Cratylus:
"Well, but do you not see, Cratylus, that he who follows names in the search after things, and analyses their meaning, is in great danger of being deceived?...
Why clearly he who first gave names gave them according to his conception of the things which they signified — did he not?...
And if his conception was erroneous, and he gave names according to his conception, in what position shall we who are his followers find ourselves?
Shall we not be deceived by him?..."
So, are we to be deceived by Peirce, whether intentional or not?
Consider this admission from
“In January, 1878, I published a brief sketch of this subject wherein I enunciated a certain maxim of "pragmatism"....
I still adhere to that doctrine; but it needs more accurate definition in order to meet certain objections and to avoid certain misapplication. Moreover, my paper of 1878 was imperfect in tacitly leaving it to appear that the maxim of pragmatism led to the last stage of clearness. I wish now to show that this is not the case and to find a series of categories of clearness.
I propose in this memoir to develop these three grades with fullness and not in the sketchy manner of a magazine article. I shall give the whole theory of definition and discuss its principal forms. I shall show, I hope quite convincingly, the great harm done by that definition by abstraction of which the Germans are so fond."
Instead of the oft-repeated original maxim (CP 5.402), I would instead recommend investigating closely what he intended by CP 5.189. I hope you will agree that this one, unlike all others, is divine.