I recently wrote about Molyneux's problem (2 posts ago, see the long quote from John Locke).
It's still on my mind, and by a stroke of luck I'm reading Annie Dillard's Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Chapter 2 is on seeing, and a passage addresses Molyneux's problem explicitly, recounting something she had read about the effect of cataract surgery on children and adults who had never before seen. Her summary reaches to the emotional impact of first sight, its wonders and its frustrations:
I chanced on a wonderful book by Marius von Senden, called Space and Sight. . . . For the newly sighted, vision is pure sensation unencumbered by meaning: "The girl went through the experience that we all go through and forget, the moment we are born. She saw, but it did not mean anything but a lot of different kinds of brightness." . . . In general the newly sighted see the world as a dazzle of color-patches. They are pleased by the sensation of color, and learn quickly to name the colors, but the rest of seeing is tormentingly difficult. . . . The mental effort involved . . . proves overwhelming for many patients. It oppresses them to realize, if they ever do at all, the tremendous size of the world, which they had previously conceived of as something touchingly manageable. . . . A disheartening number of them refuse to use their new vision, continuing to go over objects with their tongues, and lapsing into apathy and despair. . . . On the other hand, many newly sighted people speak well of the world, and teach us how dull is our own vision.
The full passage--almost 10 pages--is worth seeking out. After reading about the experience of newly discovered vision, Dillard experiments with her own sense of sight, trying to see space as flat colored patches rather than as already-interpreted spatial objects.