Systemics and Information Models - 1st and 2nd semester


The main goal of the course is to confer competences (systemic and instrumental) on the relevance of the contributions of the theory of information, cybernetics and general systems theory towards the understanding of communication as a human phenomenon, in the technique, interpersonal, group and societal dimensions.
The student must, by the end of the course:
a) Have a high degree of familiarization with the most relevant origins, models and formal theories that have information as a core concept;
b) Have a high degree of familiarization with the most recent developments that sprung from the latter item;
c) Be able to reflect on the applicability of those concepts, models and theories in the analysis of human communication (interpersonal, group, and societal levels).

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Graça Rocha Simões


Weekly - 4

Total - Available soon

Teaching language

Portuguese with teacher supervision in FL




Bertalanffy, L. (2006). Teoria Geral dos Sistemas. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes (1968).
Capra, F. (1996). A Teia da Vida – Uma Nova Compreensão Científica dos Sistemas Vivos. São Paulo: Editora Cultrix.
Easton, D. (1975). Categorias para uma análise sistemática da política. Em P. Birnbaum & F. Chazel (Eds.), Sociologia Política. Lisboa: Presença.
Gleick, J. (2012). Informação – Uma história, uma teoria, um dilúvio. Lisboa: Temas e Debates.
Kast, F. E. & Rosenzweig, J. E. (1985). Organization & Management - A Systems and Contingency Approach. NY: McGraw Hill Book Company.
Luhmann, N. (2009). Introdução à Teoria dos Sistemas. Petrópolis: Editora Vozes.
Silva, P.(2007). A Cibernética – Onde os reinos se fundem. Lisboa: Edições quasi.
Weaver, W & Shannon, C. (1963). The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois Press. (1948)
Wiener, N. (1984). Cibernética e Sociedade: O Uso Humano de Seres Humanos. São Paulo: Cultrix. (1949)

Teaching method

n class teaching.
The Teaching Method is mostly expository (70%). Internet will also be used (30%) to underline or clarify theories, concepts and systems thinking.

Evaluation method

- A group essay (2000-2500 words) to be delivered in print and digital form and mandatorily presented in class (subject to be defined each semester). Date to be defined. 50% of the final grade
- One writen presencial test. Date do be defined. 50% of the final grade.
Both assignments are mandatory

Subject matter

1. A Mathematical Theory of Communication (Claude Shannon). The concept of Information and Entropy
2. Basic notions of Cybernetics (Norbert Wiener). The concept of Information and Entropy (2)
3. General System Theory (Ludwig von Bertalanffy).
4. Systemic approach and sytems thinking: modelization, applicability and limits.
5. Social sciences and systemics: applicability of systemic theories to the social complexity (i.e. The Political System - David Easton; Organizations - Kast and Rosenzweig).