1. Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent”: Foucault takes Wittgenstein’s injuction seriously, but not because there are some words that can legitimately be spoken and others that cannot. For it is possible to say anything. The real reason we must remain silent about some things is that in any given effort to capture the order of things in language, we condemn a certain aspect of that order to obscurity. Since language is a “thing” like any other thing, it is by its very nature opaque. To assign to language, therefore, the task of “representing” the world of things, as though it could perform this task adequately, is a profound mistake. Any given mode of discourse is identifiable, then, not by what it permits consciousness to say about the world,- but by what it prohibits it from saying, the area of experience that the linguistic act itself cuts off from representation in language. Speaking is a repressive act, identifiable as a specific form of repression by the area of experience that it consigns to silence.
— Hayden White, “Foucault Decoded: Notes from Underground,” in Tropics of Discourse (via gloomy-planets)
    Whereof we cannot speak, thereof we must remain silent”: Foucault takes Wittgenstein’s injuction seriously, but not because there are some words that can legitimately be spoken and others that cannot. For it is possible to say anything. The real reason we must remain silent about some things is that in any given effort to capture the order of things in language, we condemn a certain aspect of that order to obscurity. Since language is a “thing” like any other thing, it is by its very nature opaque. To assign to language, therefore, the task of “representing” the world of things, as though it could perform this task adequately, is a profound mistake. Any given mode of discourse is identifiable, then, not by what it permits consciousness to say about the world,- but by what it prohibits it from saying, the area of experience that the linguistic act itself cuts off from representation in language. Speaking is a repressive act, identifiable as a specific form of repression by the area of experience that it consigns to silence.
    — Hayden White, “Foucault Decoded: Notes from Underground,” in Tropics of Discourse (via gloomy-planets)